Curried Squash Soup

December 27, 2010


Appetizers, Dinner, Fall, Local Eating, Lunch, Recipes, Seasons, Side Dishes, Soup, Winter

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Green on Greens will teach you to do incredible things with vegetables, one of which involves stuffing a chicken with a celery root… Imagine! I haven’t done it yet, but I will let you know when I do. Quite a few pages are dogeared with irreparable creases, but none is more worn than the page for this recipe. It is splattered and smeared with broth, butter and drops of blended herbs.


The first time my mother made it this year (it’s most satisfying in the cold), Christopher and I were en route from a late flight for Thanksgiving. We debated grabbing something from the new–very culinary–Kennedy Jet Blue terminal, but were convinced to hold off. When we finally arrived at home, it was 10:30 and we were numb with hunger. I didn’t tell Christopher what was waiting: he doesn’t like sweet vegetables and I was sure he’d envision some purée of maple syrup, apples and cinnamon, which seem to be prominent ingredients in most squash soups. Fortunately, the deep curry and herbs disguise the sugar and starch typical of so many root vegetables. This soup is subtly spiced, rich from a ham-hock and fit for those with a hankering for savory food. In fact, if it weren’t so orange, you might not even recognize its main ingredient.


On another note, Christopher and I are going to Paris tomorrow. Last night I started reading Paris Was Ours and woke myself up with excitement at 3:30am. Fortunately, I had a generous nap, but I haven’t been so excited for a trip in as long as I can remember. I will be heading to E. Dehillerin, on the recommendation of Christopher’s grandmother. Her suggestion reminded me of a quote I recently read  by Florence King: “A house without a grandmother is like an egg without salt.” I can’t wait to eat hardboiled eggs in little french cups with little french spoons. Copper pots aren’t bad either… neither are croissantes, the Musée d’OrsayShakespeare and Company or the smell of wooden cathedral pews, smoothed through years of use.

Curried Squash Soup

Adapted (by memory) from Green on Greens

1 medium-sized butter nut squash, cubed

2 T butter

5 scallions, thinly sliced

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped (depending on their size and your taste)

1 ham-hock (1/4 lb of salt pork could also work–add it at the beginning with less butter)

2 qts chicken broth

1/2 c chopped basil

1/4 c chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet until brown and bubbling.

Add the scallions and peppers and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes.

Add garlic and squash and sauté a few minutes more, just until garlic begins to brown.

Add chicken stock and ham hock and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and cook until squash softens, 45 minutes.

Add herbs and cook another 5 minutes.

Blends, or pass through a food mill, being careful not to cause any explosions.

Serve with a small spoonful of crème fraîche or additional herbs.

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