From the kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Soup
Is there anything better than soup weather? Like real deal, brrrr it’s cold outside, can’t feel the tip of my nose, put an extra log on the fire kind of soup weather? Hot soup almost literally warms the soul on days like this. Evan and I are both big soupies. Even in warmer weather, we can’t help but crave ramen or pho or one of our favorites, pasta e fagioli. But, by far, fall and winter are my favorite times of the year to enjoy a nice, steaming bowl of homemade soup. Squash and root veggies make amazing purees – delicious and healthy all at once. I recently discovered a squash that I’d never seen before, the Red Kuri Squash. It’s fairly small and hollow compared to other squashes, so it doesn’t give a whole lot of meat which is perfect when you’re making a meal for two. I always find that pumpkin, butternut squash and spaghetti squash (our go-to’s) offer far too much food for our household, even when I buy the smallest one possible. One Red Kuri Squash (about 1lb.) made the perfect amount of soup for two (with just a little bit of leftovers, which Evan always loves). The creme fraiche adds a bit creaminess while the curried pecans add crunch, flavor and act as the perfect fall garnish. (Side note: we drizzled a tiny bit of truffle oil on this soup right before digging in….a very good idea!)
With the recent move, we’re certainly not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I’ve always dreamed of starting a Thanksgiving dinner with a soup course and this one would be so perfect, don’t you think? Enjoy! -xo
Red Kuri Squash Soup with Curried Pecans & Creme Fraiche
Makes about 3 main-course servings
1 lb. Red Kuri Squash (about 1 squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
2 cups broth, more for a thinner consistency (any broth will do)
1/2 cup whole pecans
3/4 teaspoon yellow curry powder
3 tablespoons creme fraiche
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, more to taste
Blender or hand blender
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
In a small mixing bowl, toss pecans with 1/4 tablespoon olive oil and curry powder. Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a stock pot with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in over medium heat until butter is melted. Add shallots and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until shallots are soft and slightly translucent but not browned. Add squash, salt and pepper, and continue to saute for about 5 more minutes. Add bay leaf and broth. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
Remove bay leaf.
If using a blender: carefully transfer soup mix to blender and puree until smooth. Transfer back to stock pot and reheat if necessary at low heat.
If using a hand blender: Blend directly into the stock pot being careful to avoid splattering. Blend until smooth.
Serve soup with a dollop of creme fraiche and toasted curried pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste.