Friday, April 24, 2009

Curried Cream of Butternut Soup

Well spring is here, but the farmers market season is still a few weeks away, here in the cold dry rockies we don't get out of "winter" vegetables for a while yet. But that doesn't mean potatoes and cabbage, a little (or a big, look at that thing!) squash goes a long way for a warm yummy meal. I really do love curcubits!
So, I used a butternut squash, a mango, onion and garlic, lemon juice, carrots (with tops if you can get 'em) and coconut milk. Any assortment of curry spices you desire, even a chile if you like spicy curry.
And of course my beans and grains component. A balanced vegetarian diet loves jars of dried little things. Yellow split peas to keep the color scheme going, and soft white wheat. Yes I have different types of wheat berries in my kitchen, and use them for different types of cooking. I'm a dirty hippy. I'm over it.

Chop the squash in half, remove and reserve seeds, and put it in the oven to roast. Put some oil in your sauce pan and toast the spices first. I used whole corriander, mustard, caraway and anise, I ground them lightly in my suribashi (below) first, but you can just rub them in your hands to break them up and bring out the flavors. Also turmaric, ginger, cumin, paprika, and allspice. I guess you could just use curry powder, that would be cool.
Sauté until the seeds pop and jump, add onions and garlic and caramelize, add the carrots and tops.

This is a suribashi, the Japanese morter and pestal, perfect for grinding sesame seeds, but they also use it like a food mill and grind things like edamame into a mushy paste. I got mine at the Daiso 100 en store in Harajuku... Sugoi!

Add water, lemon juice, and Mango. A very ripe mango is preferable. Dice it fairly small, salt to taste... looks ready to eat already! But this is not chutney soup, so carry on. By this point the squash should be getting close to done, give it a fork test. Add grains and beans. I could have soaked the beans to quicken the cooking time, but this soup will be best after cooking for many hours anyway!

Once the beans and grains are starting to soften the squash should be cool enough to handle. Scrape the flesh out with a spoon. (I'm only using half, that is one big squash!) Note the scrape, not the scoop. You want the squash mushed in to little bits. If you have a food mil you could pass it through that, or just scrape away!

Now add the coconut milk. I'm using about 2/3 a can, I used the rest on coconut cupcakes and icing (wow was that good!!). Also note that this is full fat import coconut milk, not the watery domestic stuff. After sitting in the fridge it was thicker than homemade whipped cream...
Let simmer on the lowest setting for many hours. You want the peas to me mushing into oblivion, and the flavours mellowed. You may sent part of it through a quisanart if you like that smooth finish, but I prefer to be able to identify the components. Serve with toasted coconut and roasted squash seeds, or a sprinkle of raisins. Praise Annapurna, and pledge to plant more squash in your yard this year...


La Marquise des anges said...

sounds delicious. thanks for sharing ... I am glad I found you (thanks to etsy forum threads)

Pink said...

welcome to my blog!