Roasted Butternut with Apple Soup


Warmly spiced, an autumn to winter to anytime cold nights soup. The trick and kick are in the garam masala, curry paste if added, and the apple!  

Having to peel and dice an oddly shaped, tough-skinned butternut for soup can be a turnoff, so I attempted roasting it in the oven. That way, its flavors concentrate without hours of simmering, and the roasted flesh is easily scraped out of the skin. If you are find cutting the butternut difficult, then pierce them with a sharp knife and pop them into the microwave for a few minutes to soften them up a bit or you could pierce the butternut and roast in an oven.  [The butternut used in this recipe is a giant one, if you compare it with the size of the pan – the quantities in this recipe were therefore slightly adjusted to cater for this ] After roasting, the butternut is then quickly simmered with sautéed onion, spices, and tart apple, and blended with a bit of coconut cream if preferred.

Ingredients

2 tblsp ghee or olive oil
1 large onion roughly diced 
3 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)

1 apple, Granny Smith, cored, peeled and diced
2 medium butternuts (cut length-wise, seeded)
6 cups home-made chicken or vegetable stock or 3 cups stock, 3 cups water
2 teaspoons garam masala (you may omit if you don’t want the spicy taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
                   
Optional
cauliflower florets
roasted cumin seeds sautéed with the onion
Fresh sage leaves
green chilli
1/2 cup coconut cream
toasted sunflower seeds for garnish
green or red curry paste added to the sautéed garlic and onion


Here’s How
 
 

Heat the oven to 200°C and arrange a rack in the middle.

 

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up or whole but  pierced to prevent an oven implosion, on the baking sheet. Use 1 tablespoon of the ghee or olive oil and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper if you cut the butternut in half before roasting. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
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  • Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium diced pieces. Dice the onion into medium pieces. Melt the remaining tablespoon of olive oil or ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, (cumin) and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside.
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  • When the butternut is ready, wait until it is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the pot with the sautéed apples and onions, and discard the skins.
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  • Add the stock, water, garam masala, chilli flakes and salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of butternut, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the coconut cream.
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  • Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the centre inner) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion/stick blender.
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    Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.  A chunk of nut butter bread will be a good accompaniement. 
     
    

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    Prava Singh

    A Mom, daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend experiencing life through an evolutionary body with a revolutionary mind... A recent past former Type 2 insulin dependent and hypertensive walking time-bomb for 13.5 years, I have made positive lifestyle changes that has aided and abetted my health status for my overall betterment. Passionate about all things food, with a proud Indian heritage, I regularly blog my culinary attempts that have worked for me in my endeavours to break the shackles of food addictions and food slavery. Passionate about people too, my decision to share these endeavours is driven by informing others that a lifestyle change through food is indeed possible. I have indeed survived high school and survived life too in the most interesting and thought-provoking ways. Having lost over 50kgs of excess weight in just under a year, I have reclaimed my life and am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

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