food

Feb. 11th, 2009 10:40 am
minxy: (attack guinea pig)
For [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic, because this wonderfully woodsy caraway-spiced soup has a warm kick of a finish from the chili, but you taste every flavor in between, from sweet squash and carrots to tart apple. Delicious, and it would benefit from lots of things served on top if creamy soups remind you too much of baby food. There are several points to adjust the chili in the soup, but chili really opens up when you simmer it, so I suggest that you start conservative and add in more heat later rather than try to reign it in (not that I did that, of course. But I'm the experimenter, and I *like* spicy!)

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup:

* 4 bacon slices (or olive oil if you want to go vegetarian with this)
* 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
* 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
* 1/2 pounds carrots, chopped
* 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped, granny smith would be nice and tart, cameo apples are sweeter.
* 1 1" chipotle pepper
* 3 thyme sprigs
* 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
* 5 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
* salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of whole milk, to taste


Cook bacon in a 4-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add squash, carrots, apple, chili, thyme, bay leaves, broth, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves (and chili if the soup is spicy enough already).

Purée about 4 cups soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and season with salt, pepper. If the chili is too much, add milk to temper the spice. Serve topped with crumbled bacon, or if you already ate all the bacon while the soup was simmering, I think this would be spectacular with some sauteed shrimp and roasted pistachios on top.

Serve with crusty bread, makes six main course servings. Freezes really well.

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