Ode to Butternut Squash.
I often bring leftovers of Curried Butternut Squash Soup to work for lunch, and my co-workers are always lured to the kitchen by the aroma as it is warming up. So when they requested I make some for our Christmas potluck dinner, I took it as a compliment and made a huge batch in my slow cooker.
Curried Butternut Squash SoupCourse: SoupsCuisine: American IndianDifficulty: Medium
I took it as a compliment and made a huge batch in my slow cooker.
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
5 cups water
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp curry powder
1⁄2 cup table cream (optional)
4 tbsp lemon juice
10 cups roasted butternut squash (2 medium sized)
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1 cup sliced shallots (or onion)
4 tsp minced ginger
6 cloves minced garlic
4 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cut a slice of the top and bottom of the squash. Stand it up on a cutting board and halve it lengthwise. Remove the seeds and the stringy bits.
- Place the pieces cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 35-45 minutes.
- Mince the garlic and ginger, dice the potatoes, and chop the shallots. Place into the slow cooker.
- When the squash is ready, carefully scoop out the flesh and add to the slow cooker.
- Add the butter, stock, water, lemon juice, curry, tomato paste, salt and pepper.
- Cook for 4 hours on low, or 2 hours on high.
- Pureé the soup in a blender or food processor in small batches.
- If it is too spicy stir a little cream into your bowl and add some minced cilantro.
The skin is smooth, and uniformly coloured beige to tan with a slightly orange tinge. Usually, the shape of a half-dumbell. Medium-sized butternut squash (about 1 kg) have the richest flavour. The skin should be firm and unmarked. (As in the image at the end of this post)
Preparation and Storage
Butternut squash is versatile. It can be used to make soups, gratins, risottos, or it can simply be spiced and roasted. However, the rind is tough, so it can be difficult to peel and dice unless you use the proper technique. For many recipes, a short cut is to halve the squash lengthwise and roast it cut-side down on a baking sheet for 45 minutes at 350°C. Once the flesh has cooked (and softened), it can be scooped out and used to prepare your dish.
If you have one, the perfect place to store your squash is a cellar. Otherwise keep them at room temperature. I have kept butternut squash on the counter for 3-4 weeks without any problems.
A natural source of beta carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fibre.
Origin and Growing Season
Butternut squash belongs to the Cucurbita moschata species and is closely related to pumpkin, and sweet potato. It has been cultivated in Central and South America since at least the fifteenth century. In Ontario, they are grown during the summer are harvested in September, October and even November, as long as there is no frost. Since butternut squash store well at the right temperature (10°C), they are available from September to March.