The very first time that I ate this soup was on a stormy night in Boston. Rain was coming down sideways and we were just a few degrees away from snow. I was searching for a friend’s apartment while trying to hold on to an umbrella that threatened to blow away. I finally found her door and stepped into the most charming room with a wooden beamed ceiling. The house was tiny, having been built in the 1700’s, and was right down the street from Bunker Hill (as in the Battle of…). In the corner a fire was roaring and candles flickered on an antique wooden table. The scent of curry and onions filled the room. All at once I forgot about the storm raging outside and and settled into a cozy chair with a big glass of red wine.
At this point in my cooking life I had not had much (or any) experience with curry. The sweetness of the squash and the heat of the curry were offset by the grating of a tangy apple. I was instantly won over and had to ask for the recipe. Turns out it came from one of the most popular cookbooks of the time-The Silver Palate Cookbook. This cookbook was like a bible to me back in the day. My copy was so well worn that it fell apart and I had to buy a new one. To this day I still turn to this book and am never disappointed with whatever I make. This curried butternut soup may be my favorite.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped onions
4-5 teaspoons curry powder
2 medium size butternut squash (about 3 pounds) peeled, seeds discarded and flesh chopped
2 apples, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup apple juice (or 1/2 cup apple cider)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shredded, unpeeled apple for garnish
Melt butter in pot and add chopped onions and curry powder and cook, covered over low heat until onions are tender, about 20 minutes. When tender pour in stock, add squash and chopped apple and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until squash and apples are tender, about 25 minutes.
Pour soup through a strainer and reserve solids. Add 1 cup of cooking stock to solids and puree (in either food processor or use hand held blender) until smooth. Return to pot and add apple juice and about 2 cups more cooking liquid (depending on the consistency you like). Season to taste with salt and pepper, simmer briefly to heat. Serve with a garnish of shredded apple. Serves 4-6.