Red curry butternut squash soup

This is a perfect dinner on a cold night or a wonderful starter for a dinner party. Pair it with some crusty French bread for dunking or even better a grilled cheese, and gruyere cheese would be yummy on some chewy crusty seeded bread.

Fun fact, did you know 1 cup of winter squash provides half of your daily vitamin C requirements and 4.5 times the daily requirement for vitamin A. That means this is not only creamy yummy goodness its good for you!

When choosing your butternut squash, I like to choose ones that are more straight up and down. This makes peeling them far easier and the bulbous part at the bottom is where the seeds are, so there is not as much squash there. If you've not worked with them before the best way to peel is to cut off both top and bottom ends and stand up flat on the bottom then carefully run your knife down the sides as close to the squash as you can.

The curry is just a nice flavor in the background, mild but just brings it all together. If you want a little more zip add more curry. I like to add a few roasted garbanzos and chorizo to the top when I serve it, as well as a nice drizzle of good quality olive oil. Food is like a great outfit...its all in the accessories! These condiments are easy, unexpected and delish.

I really love to roast vegetables their sugars begin to caramelize and that just makes everything better. Now use those in a soup and your soup automatically has deeper richer flavor.

You know I always try and give you a few ideas to use this in different ways, but soup is soup! You could roast extra of these vegies however and use them in an omelet, or make bruschetta with toasted bread and ricotta cheese topped with a few toasted pine nuts. They'd also be delicious in an arugula salad with some shaved parmesan and a curry vinaigrette.

Red curry butternut squash soup

2 small/medium butternut squashes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 medium onion peeled and cut into eighths

2 medium/large shallots peeled and cut into quarters

9 whole peeled garlic cloves (don't worry they roast and become mild and sweet)

2 TB olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp red curry paste

4-5 cups good chicken stock

Pre heat your oven to 400.

Place all vegetables on a large cookie sheet drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper toss well to coat.

Roast in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes toss again and let go for another 15 minutes. You should be seeing some nice browning on the edges, this is the caramelization that brings all the flavor. Test the squash with a fork to be sure they are tender, if so they are ready. Let them cool for about 10 minutes then place half the veggies and half the broth in a blender and puree. If your serving the soup now, pour the pureed soup into a soup pot and repeat with remaining veggies and stock as well as the curry paste. Give the soup a good stir to combine and taste for additional salt, pepper or curry paste. place the soup over medium low heat and just rewarm. This is great made ahead and just reheated when your ready.

I topped mine with roasted garbanzo beans, I used a drained can, about 1 TB of olive oil, and a sprinkle of onion powder and pepper. Roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes just until golden. I also browned up some chorizo and a little chopped fresh cilantro and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

You could just as easily do a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped parsley or basil or cilantro...or mix of all three!

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