Sunday, February 20, 2011

Roasted Butternut and Cauliflower Soup

On Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, and since the weather this week supports his prediction (sunny weather in the 60s? YES, PLEASE!), I'm trying to get in as many soups as possible before the weather becomes too warm to tolerate hot soups.

I came across this recipe on FatFreeVegan. The picture looked so lovely, I had to try it out. Although I was on the fence about cauliflower - my last go-round with it was when I was a child, and our interaction wasn't amiable - I love butternut squash! I omitted the sherry, and the soup wasn't lacking for it. And it turns out cauliflower and I actually can be friends.

If you're trying to make the most of the end of hot soup season, add this to your rotation!

You'll need:
1 butternut squash
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed or chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons mild curry powder (see note)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon sherry or vermouth (optional)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
juice of one orange (or 1/2 cup orange juice)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the butternut in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Spray or rub a rectangular baking dish with oil (lightly) and place the squash in it cut-side down. Put the squash into the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the cauliflower florets into a small, oiled baking dish of their own. After the squash has cooked for 15 minutes, put the cauliflower in with it. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is beginning to brown and the squash can be pierced easily with a fork. (They will probably be finished at different times.) Remove from the oven and set the cauliflower aside.

Allow the squash to cool until it's easy to handle, and scrape the flesh out of the skin and into a bowl. Use a fork or masher to mash it a little.

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in a little water until it is translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 more minutes, adding water as necessary. Add the squash to the pan along with the curry powder and the vegetable broth. Using a hand blender, blend the soup to a smooth puree. (Or, if you don't have a hand blender, puree the soup in your blender in batches.) Reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add the cauliflower to the soup. Taste for seasoning, and add sherry, salt, cayenne, and additional curry powder as needed. Cover and allow the soup to simmer until the cauliflower is tender. Add the orange juice, cook for 5 more minutes and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving provides 234 Calories (kcal); 1 g Total Fat; (2% calories from fat); 6 g Protein; 58 g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 560 mg Sodium; 9 g Fiber

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