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Looking for a perfect first course for your Thanksgiving dinner or fall dinner party? Add an elegant touch and an unexpected taste with this new take on a traditional autumn soup. I use vegetables from my garden for the dish, making it a true celebration of the harvest, as the first Thanksgiving was intended to be. The addition of curry powder and fresh ginger takes the soup to a new level of sophistication.
It's a beautiful dish—and beautifully simple, too. I offer time-saving tips and do-ahead suggestions to make it come off with ease. Serve the soup in white bowls to highlight the stunning golden color, and add a pop of green by using chives as a garnish.
This recipe serves 6 as a first course.
- 1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large leeks (white part only), chopped
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 6 cups chicken stock, divided use
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Place squash cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. (Tip: Use parchment paper for easier clean up.) Bake for one hour.
- Let cool, then scoop the pulp from the skin with a spoon and discard the skin. This can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate the pulp in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Melt butter in soup pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and ginger and cook until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add curry powder and cook another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add squash and 5 cups chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool to below scalding.
- When soup is cool enough, puree it in the pot until creamy using an immersion blender (see note below). Thin the pureed soup as needed with remaining chicken stock, add salt, and heat through.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish each bowl with 1/2 teaspoon chopped chives.
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A Viognier or Gewurztraminer pairs well with the spiciness of the curry and the creamy sweetness of the squash.
A Kitchen Timesaver: The Immersion Blender
One thing that makes this recipe so easy is the use of an immersion blender (also known as a stick blender) to puree the soup. Without one, you will need to transfer the soup, in batches, to a stand blender or food processor to puree. This creates more mess and more dishes to clean in the process. An immersion blender allows you to puree the soup right in the pot.
An immersion blender isn't just for making soup. It can be used to blend batters, mix beverages, and make smoothies. Many models come with attachments like whisks, chopper bowls, and drink beakers. Some models have removable shafts that can go in the dishwasher. Basic one-speed, single piece models are available for less than $20.