Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup diced shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup minced fresh peeled ginger
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 pounds Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
- 1 1/3 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 cups homemade or canned, store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, heated
- 1 one-inch chunk palm sugar (available in Asian grocery stores)
- 1 fifteen-ounce can low-fat coconut milk
- Freshly chopped chives, for garnish
- Fresh curry leaves, for garnish
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue to stir; add ginger. Continue cooking until shallots are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add bay leaves and red pepper; continue cooking for 1 minute more. Stir in squash, salt, and curry powder; cook for 10 minutes.
Raise the heat to medium-high, and add chicken stock. Cover, and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring and mashing every 5 minutes. Add the palm sugar and cook for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaves from soup. Using an immersion blender or in batches using a bar blender, puree until smooth.
Reheat soup, seasoning with salt. Garnish with chives, and serve immediately.