Thursday, November 15, 2012

Curried Squash Tomato Bisque

It's that time of year when my dad realizes that he planted waaaaay too much squash, and so he pawns it off on his more-than-willing children. Or maybe that's why he plants so much. Either way, I always get a ton of squash from my dad's garden around this time of year and I've found the perfect recipe for using a bunch of it. 

My mom made a vegan tomato squash soup a few years back for Christmas and it was delicious (yeah, my mom rocks). If I remember correctly, it was tomatoes and squash pureed together with some vegetable broth and then sauteed onions were added to it (or maybe the onions were blended in, I can't remember). She gave me the recipe and the first time I made it I taste-tested it and it wasn't as good as my mom's. Not a big surprise there. I let it sit for a while there on my stove and pondered my inadequacy. 

But instead of coming to terms with my failure in the kitchen, I decided to make the soup my own. I added a can of coconut milk to it and some curry powder, garam masala and cumin and BAM! It became something very different and very delicious. The recipe has been tweaked since then, of course. I took garam masala out of it because I ran out and didn't feel like buying more. I'm sure you could put a little in and it wouldn't hurt. And I found that it doesn't need veggie broth, though I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to have some in there if you wanted more leftovers. 

It eats like a meal. And it goes great with saltines or some good crusty bread. 

It's not every year I post an original recipe on this blog. So enjoy, dear readers:

Curried Squash Tomato Bisque

4 cups of butternut squash pulp (other kinds of squash work, too, but probably not every kind)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin)
28 oz can whole tomatoes with juice
15 oz can of of coconut milk
1 tsp. curry powder (start with 1, add more to taste)
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 bay leaves

Bake squash (cut in half the long way, place in 1/4 inch of water in a casserole dish, bake at 375 until easily pierced with fork) until tender. Scrape it all out.

Heat oil on med/high heat, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle and/or pop for 30 seconds or so. Add onion and sauté until browned.

Put Tomatoes (with juice) in processor. Blend.

Add squash and onions, process until smooth (the cumin seeds won't blend up and that's fine). If you have an immersion blender, you can blend everything in the pot, but I like to used a food processor and then an immersion blender later if needed. I think it's easier to get a smoother texture that way.

Put that all in a pot, add the coconut milk and heat it up. Add curry powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder (and ground cumin if you didn't use cumin seeds back when you fried the onions). Taste and add more of any of these spices as needed. Add bay leaves and simmer for as long as you want, stirring occasionally.

I'd post a photo, but it's just orange. Close your eyes and imagine the color orange. There you go. That's what the soup looks like. 

OK fine, I'll take a quick photo with my webcam. 

See. Orange. And now you know I have a Maytag stove. 

Reheats wonderfully. Enjoy!

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