Thursday, November 12, 2009

Postcolonial Squash Soup

Our contribution to the squashluck was something like vichyssoise (an invented-in-America French-style potato-leek soup) and something like a very inauthentic curry (Indian seasonings), as if the Brits and the Americans got into a battle of borrowed cuisines in my kitchen, motivated by the goal of using every vegetable in our refrigerator.

The recipe goes something like this:

Peel and cube a whole bunch of butternut squash and roast it in the oven.

Meanwhile, saute four or five thinly sliced leeks and some minced garlic in olive oil in a large stockpot. Add diced potatoes and cook until potatoes are slightly browned.

Add grated ginger and a couple tablespoons of garam masala and fry for just a minute. (I'm not entirely convinced that frying dry spices is essential to any dish, but I always do it when I cook Indian food because the smell is incredible.)

Add broth (we use vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water) to cover by a few inches, bring to a boil, and cook soup, covered, until potatoes are almost completely softened.

Add the roasted squash cubes to the soup, along with milk (our choice), cream, broth, or water to cover. Stir well, bring back to a boil, then blend soup with an immersion blender or in a blender, press it through a food mill, or just mash it with a fork or potato masher. Add more liquid to adjust the consistency if desired.

Add a generous amount of grated carrot to the soup and allow it to cook for a few minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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