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Fall Squash Soup

For my post gardening elevenses (which were actually nineses) I ate a few too many of the lemon-ginger cookies that I bought myself for a treat. Something healthy in the soup or salad family therefore seemed indicated for lunch and, since I had cooked squash already on hand having used it in a salad a couple of nights ago, squash soup seemed the obvious choice.

My preference always goes to Kuri squash, which I highly recommend if you can get your hands on it. It is a bright orange squash, slightly pointier on one end than the other with, more importantly, a beautiful orange color and a lovely flavor and texture, a cross between chestnut and pumpkin. That being said, butternut, delicata or acorn squash would work here just as well. Canned pumpkin (which is actually really squash) would do in a pinch too.

1 1/2 cups cooked squash flesh

1/2 shallot, finely diced

1 tsp tarragon leaves, woody stem removed and roughly chopped. (Rosemary would work well here too -- I just wanted to do something different than the usual squash/pumpkin and sage pairing.)

1 Tbsp dry white wine

1 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk

1/4 tsp curry powder

1 tsp olive oil

Salt to taste

Add the oil, chopped shallot, and a bit of salt to a sauce pan and cook over low heat until the shallot die are a caramelized mahogany color and are soft and melting. This will depend on the size of the pieces of shallot; mine took about three minutes to get to that point. Stir often and keep a close eye on them as the shallots can go from delectably flavored to burnt to a crisp in about two seconds.

As soon as the shallots are a rich brown, add the curry powder to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for about thirty seconds, stirring constantly, to release the fragrance in the curry spices.

Add the wine to the pan and swirl to combine with the onions and to burn off the alcohol. As soon as the wine has mostly been absorbed by the onions, add the coconut milk and stir to combine.

Add the cooked squash, half of the tarragon leaves and half a cup of water to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture is very hot and bubbling around the edges. taste and adjust the seasoning.

You could blend this into a creamy soup with an immersion blender, but I decided to leave it as is so that I could come across little pops of tarragon and pockets of caramelized shallot as I ate to avoid a monotonous tasting soup.

You could garnish the soup with homemade croûtons or pepitas and a slick of sour cream or do what I did and pour the soup into a soup bowl and garnish it with the remaining chopped tarragon.


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