Curried Butternut Soup

I happened to stumble across this recipe at the perfect time. I had a partially-used can of coconut milk in the fridge, and a forlorn butternut squash that had been sitting on the counter for over a week waiting for inspiration to strike. That, on top of the cold and rainy weather outside (which always makes me crave soups like this) sent me straight to the kitchen to get this soup on the stove.

The recipe called for chicken broth, so I decided to make my own vegetable broth to stand in for it. When it came time to strain the broth I realized the soup would probably benefit from having the onions and carrots pureed right along with the squash, so I just added the rest of the ingredients to my pot of broth, stuck the immersion blender in, and went to town.

I love the warmth of the cumin and curry, and while the pistachios provide a nice color contrast, I think their flavor and crunch really make this soup spectacular!

(adapted from Mango & Tomato)

3 cups water
1″ piece of ginger, quartered
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, cut into 1″ pieces
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small butternut squash (or 1/2 a large squash), seeds removed
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
cilantro and chopped pistachios, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 and grease a small roasting pan.
Combine the water, ginger, onion, and carrot in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile, place the squash cut side down on the roasting pan and bake for about an hour, or until very tender. Scrape the flesh out and add to the simmering vegetable broth.
Stir in the coconut milk, cumin seeds, salt, curry powder, and cayenne and puree well with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve garnished with cilantro and chopped pistachios.

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