Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I’m baaaaack! From beautiful Costa Rica. Another world, really. Filled with various monkeys, butterflies, spiders, flowers, and sea creatures. Much different from the winter wonderland I’m experiencing here in Ottawa.

Although I had the time of my life, after a two week vacation it’s good to be home.

There’s nothing quite like coming back to your own space, your own cooking, and all the little familiar surroundings.

Like soup. Comforting, warm, and tasty. This soup in particular is thick with a hearty dose of curry that is all kinds of awesome.

To begin, preheat your oven and place squash halves, cut side up, onto a baking sheet and place one tablespoon of butter and sugar into the cavity of each.

Roast squash for about 1 hour or until the flesh has softened.

Allow the squash to cool for 15 minutes before scooping the flesh into a bowl. Discard the skin.

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add thyme and chives and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, and squash and stir until just combined.

Pour the broth over the mixture and stir. Simmer soup for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pan and adjust seasonings. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat. Whisk cream into soup. Add desired amount of honey to taste.

To garnish I like to drizzle about 1/2 tsp of cream on top with some chopped chives. It really makes the bowl look pretty!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, divided
4 tsp light brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
2 teaspoons chives, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
honey to taste (I used about 1 tbsp)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place squash halves, cut side up, onto a baking sheet and place one tablespoon of butter and sugar into the cavity of each.
3. Roast squash for about 1 hour or until the flesh has softened.
4. Allow the squash to cool for 15 minutes before scooping the flesh into a bowl. Discard the skin.
5. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes.
6. Add thyme and chives and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, and squash and stir until just combined.
8. Pour the broth over the mixture and stir. Simmer soup for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Pour mixture into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth.
10. Pour the soup back into the pan and adjust seasonings. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat. Whisk cream into soup. Add desired amount of honey to taste.

To garnish I like to drizzle about 1/2 tsp of cream on top with some chopped chives. It looks really pretty!

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Coconut Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

I just arrived back in Ottawa after a quick visit with my family. It’s funny how being home never changes. The same people work at the grocery store, the same smiling faces are on the street…it makes me happy.

Paul and I visited this particular weekend because my Grandparents were putting on a dance at their local Lions Hall. It was a riot! Tons of waltzes, polkas, two steps, and of course, square dances.

Now, Paul had never danced a day in his life before I brought him home. So, like every newcomer my Grandparents and I showed him a few of the basic moves for a square dance and gave him a few waltzing and polka lessons. He caught on great! And we ended up having a blast. Funny how something you dread can turn out to be fun!

We of course ate a lot of sweets this weekend, and after these sorts of indulgences I thought I would turn to something healthy, like this soup. It contains all the fixings of what I’ve been craving lately. Sweet potatoes, curry, and coconut milk. Great for fall, and great for my tummy. Plus it’s a nice thing to eat after all those sugary squares and brownies!

To begin, chop up your peppers and onions and mince your garlic.

Cook onions, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more.

Add curry powder and cayenne and cook, stirring for about one minute.

Chop up your sweet potato and then add it and chickpeas.

Transfer your mixture to a soup pot and add chicken broth, water and coconut milk. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until yams are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro, reserving a bit for garnish if desired.

Coconut Curried Yam and Chickpea Soup
Recipe adapted from foodess
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 can chickpeas, drained (about 2 cups)
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can coconut milk (slightly less than 2 cups)
salt to taste
chopped cilantro, to taste

Directions:
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Cook onions, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more. Add curry powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, one minute. Add chickpeas, cubed yam, chicken broth, water and coconut milk. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until yams are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro, reserving a bit for garnish if desired.