Spicy Butternut Soup

adapted from Simply Recipes


Prep time: 5 minutes with above labor-saving tip; 15-20 minutes otherwise

Cook time: 15-20 minutes with above labor-saving tip; 40 minutes otherwise

Cost: about $2.10

(squash: 1.29--Alid-style, onion: .20, chicken stock: .50-ish if made with granules; more if made with canned stuff, other stuff: .10)

Note: You could substitute an equal amount of acorn squash for the butternut. 

LABOR SAVING TIPBuy a 3 lb squash, chop it into slices and steam it one night as a side for dinner. Eat about 1/3 of the simple steamed squash (with salt, pepper, and a pat of butter if you please--it's wonderful). And then scoop out the remaining flesh and make this soup the next night. This will save you a good 25 minutes on soup night (and possibly a finger or two--seriously) and give you a healthy side dish the night before--for only 5 minutes of hands-on effort. 

1 two-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced, and cut into cubes. 

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp butter


1 yellow onion, chopped

2 tsp yellow curry powder

1 tsp whole mustard seeds or 1/4 tsp dried mustard (I made with both and both were good; also I worried the whole seeds wouldn't puree well and would be yucky chunks, but they weren't so don't fear them if you've got them)

dash ground cumin

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp ground ginger)

4 C chicken stock

1/2 C sour cream, cream, or yogurt (optional)

garnish with cilantro (optional)

1. Peel your squash. I do this by first slicing (and seeding) my butternut and then using a GOOD paring knife to peel the slices. Be sure you've got a good knife. If you don't, your fingers are at serious risk (seriously, I'm not kidding here). They're at a bit of a risk anyway, so be careful. If you don't have a good knife or don't want to take a risk, steam or boil your slices for 20 minutes and then scoop out the flesh. 

2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and a pat of butter and toss your peeled, cubed, seeded squash in. Add a few dashes salt and stir around. Cook until browned. (If using pre-cooked squash, you can skip this step altogether.)

3. Remove squash (it won't be soft, just browned) and set aside.

4. Add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and add onion. Cook until lightly browned and fairly soft. Add curry, ginger, cumin, and mustard seeds. Stir until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add squash back to pan. Add chicken stock. Bring to boil. Then reduce to simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for 40 minutes. (If using pre-cooked squash, you'll only need to simmer about 10 minutes.)

5. When done, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. You can also blend it in a blender. You'll likely need to do this in batches and put a hot pad or dish towel over the top of the blender just in case some hot soup tries to come squirting out at you. (Who knew cooking could be so fraught with peril?).

6. Add dairy if using. And garnish with cilantro if you wish. 

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: tastycheapskate.blogspot.com