Mom’s Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Come fall and winter, there’s nothing better than a big bowl of hot soup. After just one spoonful, you instantly feel warmed to the bone and “hugged” from within. Especially with my tiny, blonde, yoga-loving mother 3000 miles away, I could definitely use the feeling of her hug now and then.

Instead, though, I have her regular calls, emails and shared recipes to cling to when she’s not in person for a real embrace. This butternut squash soup recipe was one she recently shared during one of our 30-minute “quick chats”, and since I had been craving a hearty, cozy soup, I knew I had to make it right away. After all, if your mom says it’s good, you KNOW it’s good.

Not only was this butternut squash soup good, it was very simple and only required a handful of the most basic, fresh ingredients. Plus, no heavy cream required and only 1 tbsp. of butter, so it’s not all that bad for you!

The aroma was something else: Fragrant, musky curry powder mixed with caramelized onions, butter and fresh ginger turned my little apartment into a sweet-smelling shangri-la. And, once the butternut squash joined the party, I could hardly help myself from dipping a finger right into the pot.

Topped with a swirl of sour cream, if you wish, or maybe some crispy cooked bacon and freshly grated Parmesan, this soup is one you’ll want on your list in the oncoming colder months!

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon butter

1 cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 in pieces (about 6 cups)

2 (14.5-oz.) cans chicken broth

2 cups water

3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/3 cup half-and-half or heavy cream

For topping (optional):

Crispy cooked bacon, crumbled

Chopped scallions

Grated Parmesan cheese

Sour cream or plain yogurt

Directions:

Melt butter in a deep soup pot set to medium heat. Add onions and cook until caramelized, 7-8 minutes. Stir in curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper toward the end; cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in squash, broth, water, ginger, salt, and pepper. Increase heat to high, boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until squash is tender.

Remove and puree squash mixture in batches (or blend in the pot with an immersion blender); transfer back to pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding more liquid to thin the soup if necessary. Just before serving, stir in half-and-half or cream.

If desired, top with crispy cooked bacon, scallions, Parmesan, and/or sour cream. Serve with salad and warm crusty bread.

Enjoy!