Jeanette Peabody, the chef at Hamiltons' at First & Main in Charlottesville, Virginia, makes this luscious, slightly sweet soup with butternut squash from Dave Matthews's Best of What's Around and coconut milk instead of heavy cream. The coconut milk gives the soup a silky texture and a hint of exotic nuttiness.
Warming Soup Recipes
2 large butternut squash (5 pounds total)—halved lengthwise, peeled and
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 leek, white and tender green part only, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 thyme sprig
Coconut shavings, for garnish (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the squash, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Fill each cavity with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter; season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender; cut into large pieces.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, leek, shallot, ginger and curry powder and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned. Add the wine and cook until evaporated.
Add the cooked squash, water, coconut milk and thyme sprig. Simmer over moderately low heat for 15 minutes.
Discard the thyme sprig. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the coconut shavings and serve.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
An immersion blender has a long handle and a whirring blade at the bottom that allows you to puree soups right in the pot. Immersion blenders eliminate the need to transfer soup from the pot to a blender and back again. Plus, they're easy to clean. Braun makes a number of good immersion blenders, and we also like Cuisinart's Quick Prep model. Be sure to keep the immersion blender submerged while it's running, or you'll spray soup all over your kitchen!
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