Hearty, flavorful soups are perfect in the winter. Butternut squash is an ingredient many people like. Here’s a version with a slight variation using Indian warm spices known as ‘garam masala’. This spice mix, like many, is slightly different from family to family and cook to cook when made from scratch. I take the convenient way out and buy mine from Penzey’s these days. Butternut squash is plentiful at my market, so I usually buy them on Saturday and roast them on Sunday. I try to use all of the parts of the squash, so I roast the seeds separately and use the roasted seed membrane, finely chopped in a tamarind, red chili and yogurt sauce (I’ll post this later)
Once the squash is roasted, the rest of the soup preparation is fairly quick. You could use an immersion blender for a more textured soup. I like to blend the soup for a velvety smooth texture, adding the roast seeds for crunch and flavor.
Butternut squashes a rich source of vitamin A, and also vitamins, C, B6, magnesium and calcium. Per cup, butternut squash is about 60 calories and contains 1.5grams of protein. It has dietary fiber, which keeps you feeling full and satisfied.
Interestingly, you need to eat some fat to absorb all that vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin. The extra virgin olive oil is a monosaturated fat, which is relatively healthy, but should be eaten in moderation like al fats.
RECIPE : ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH WARM SPICES (GARAM MASALA)
8 cups cubed, roasted butternut squash (2 medium sized squash, peeled, tossed with a little olive oil, salt and petter and roasted at 400 degrees for 40 minutes til soft)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 quart/32 oz chicken or vegetable stock
Roasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro for serving
Heat olive oil and garam masala in a deep pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the oil is just bubbling. Don’t burn the spices.
Add the squash, chipotle pepper and slat and toss in the garam masala for 1-2 minutes.
Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree. If you’re using a blender be cautious with the hot liquid. Do not over fill, cover the blender lid with a towel and hold closed. Gently open the lid. Return the soup the the pan, thin with a little hot water if desired and adjust salt and pepper. If you’re using the immersion blender, go slowly and avoid splattering.
Makes 8 cups (6 servings)