Thursday, December 5, 2013

Curried Butternut Squash Soup and Mushroom Leek Flatbread

It's been a while since we made this dinner - I think it was sometime in late October or early November...  I photographed the dishes, fine-tuned the recipes, and then sort of forgot about it for a while as other projects nudged their way ahead.

But it was too yummy and beautiful to be completely forgotten about, especially as the weather has turned unbearably cold this week (it was an ungodly -15 degrees F this morning when I left for work at 7:45, and never did warm up above 7 degrees).  My hands are still chilled from my 15-minute drive, and that was over 8 hours ago.

In spite of the cold, the sky was beautifully bright and blue today, which looked gorgeous against the landscape of sparkling white snow.

I crave steaming bowls of hot, comforting soup and crusty bread when it's this cold out, so it seemed an appropriate night to share this recipe for curried butternut squash soup, which is pureed to smooth silkiness and topped with a dash of cream and cinnamon.  That night, we also grilled orange roughy on cedar planks and baked a mushroom and leek flatbread to soak up the last spoonfuls of creamy soup.

The ringlets of leeks looked so beautiful on the crispy flatbread.

One Year Ago:   Pecan Pie with Caramel, Chocolate and Bourbon
Two Years AgoRed Wine Chocolate Cake, and a Series of Kitchen Mishaps

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds discarded, cut into chunks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon Vindaloo curry spice blend
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • cream, for garnish

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned and fragrant.  Add the remaining ingredients (except for the butter and cream).

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the squash is tender.  Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.  Stir in the butter and taste the soup, adjusting the seasoning if needed.  Continue to simmer over low heat for another 15-20 minutes; if the soup is too thick, thin it out with a little water or broth.

Garnish each bowl with a little cream.

Yields a Very Large Pot of Soup

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Mushroom and Leek Flatbread

  • 1 prepared pizza crust (I used a Boboli's thin crust to save time, but homemade is great, too)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs, such as oregano, thyme, sage or rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms, such as Crimini
  • 1 leek, sliced into rings (white and tender green parts)
  • cracked black pepper
  • micro greens or fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 450.  Place the crust on a baking sheet.  Brush the crust with half the olive oil; sprinkle with the garlic powder and herbs.  Top the crust with the mushrooms and leek, and drizzle the vegetables with the remaining olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes until the crust is crisp and the vegetables are tender.  Garnish with the cracked pepper and micro greens and cut into squares.

Yields 4-5 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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