Curried Buttercup Squash and Apple Soup
This hearty New England soup includes a buttercup squash base, apples and maple syrup for sweetness, and curry and cayenne pepper for hints of spice.
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, shelled
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 2 buttercup or small butternut squash, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 Macoun apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt. Cover; refrigerate.
In another bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with 2 teaspoons salt. Spread evenly over baking pan. Toast in oven until seeds are golden and begin to pop, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. Place squash, cut side down, and 1/2 cup water in dish. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool 45 minutes. Remove seeds, peel, and set aside.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions, celery, and carrots; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and spices; cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add apples and brandy; cook 10 minutes. Add squash and 12 cups water; simmer 1 hour. Let cool 30 minutes. Puree in food processor until smooth. Add honey, salt, and pepper to taste; pulse to combine.
To serve, garnish with a dollop of maple cream, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.