Butternut Squash

Maybe your knives are sharper than mine, but I think butternut squash is a pain to prep. Most recipes call for peeled, cubed squash, which just counts me out right away.

So when I came across a recipe in the Moosewood cookbook for butternut squash soup with pre-cooked squash, I went for it. (Especially necessary seeing as I'd already cooked the squash just to get it off my counter.)

One of the biggest problems with butternut squash is its overwhelming sweetness. The flavor is too strong to conceal in sweets, and it's too sweet to hide in savory dishes. (We tried a butternut squash chili--it was too sweet to be hearty chili.)

This recipe counters that with the addition of mushrooms and curry powder.

P.S. No blender required!!!

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Butternut Squash Mushroom Soup
serves 4
adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

3T butter
0.5 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
6-10 medium brown mushrooms, sliced
1T cumin seeds
2T curry powder
1c vegetable stock
1c water
1 butternut squash, pre-cooked to softness and scooped from its skin
salt + pepper

1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add the onions and a dash of salt, stirring to coat in butter and cooking until just softening.
2. Add the celery and carrot, stir and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the mushrooms and cumin seeds, stirring every minute or two, and cooking until the mushrooms are browned and fond is forming on the bottom of the pan
4. Add curry powder, stock and water, scraping the fond off the bottom of the pan. Stir to coat the veggies and mix the curry.
5. Add the butternut squash and stir again. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, periodically mashing the squash against the side of the pan with a spatula (unless you want chunkier soup).
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.

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