Thursday, March 22, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

In a recent post I mentioned that I am afraid of squash.  Not the taste mind you, but the fact that they are so darn hard that cutting them up takes a strength of character that at times I am lacking.  To illustrate: I bought a butternut squash before Thanksgiving last year and it sat on my kitchen counter until well after New Year at which point I finally threw it away.  It was still edible; squash have a great shelf life, but I just didn’t have the fortitude to try processing it.  Women’s lib be damned, that is what a big man is for.
This is where the story gets better; I found butternut squash in the frozen food section already cooked and ready to go.  Granted this would not be a good solution if you want chunks of squash or that lovely roasted flavor, but I was making soup and this worked for me.
Butternut Squash Soup with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
8 Servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about ½ to ¾ cups)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Ras el Hanout (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 12-ounce packages of frozen cooked butternut squash
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon Yogurt Sauce (I used the leftover dip from my kale chips)
Directions:
  1. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions until they have softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the sherry and simmer until sherry has reduced to about ¼ cup. 
  2. Add the coriander, Ras el Hanut if using, cumin, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the squash and the vegetable broth and simmer for 20 minutes adding more broth if needed.  Remove from heat and let cool somewhat then place in a blender and process until smooth (you will need to do this in batches and remember to cover the top of the blender with a towel so that you don’t get hot squash everywhere).
  3. Return to the Dutch oven and reheat, stir in lemon and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve soup topped with Lemon Yogurt Sauce.
Notes:
Ras el Hanout is an Algerian spice blend that is used in Northern African cuisine.  Like Garam Masala, it is an individualized blend so no two may taste alike.  I used Mustapha's Moroccan.



6 comments:

Lea M. Callais said...

Big score with the frozen squash! Now you can go there whenever you want without fear!!! I love your addition of Sherry in this soup!

June said...

Fabulous idea to use frozen squash instead of the cleaver (or buzz saw). I love the addition of the Ras el Hanout too. By the way, I've found if I use a harp peeler and peel away the skin, the squash cuts very easily. Just sayin'.

Mary said...

I'm with u Lorraine! I hate peeling the thick skins of all winter squash AND I can tell u that bagels and squash cuttings ar a major cause for stitches and more in emergency rooms! Frozen sounds as wonderful as this recipe!

Lorraine said...

Lea,
The sherry is great in this and the frozen squash help to get this soup ready in no time.

Lorraine said...

June,
The Ras el Hanout adds just a bit of the exotic without going over the top. Thanks for the tip...smarty pants : )

Lorraine said...

Mary,
Frozen is now my new secret weapon. The stats are a bit scary.