BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CHUTNEY

butternut squash soupThis recipe is a favorite among all my friends, and of course my husband.

I was not a big soup eater until I tried this recipe. It is such a tasty soup and easy to make.

Over time, however, I have changed it slightly from the original recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP:

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional, can be substitutes with oil instead for a vegan option)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable/sunflower oil
  • One 3- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, the seeds and strings discarded, and the flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 cups chicken broth, or if you are a vegetarian use vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • Deep fried onion for garnish

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT:

CHUTNEY:

  • 1/4 cup almonds without any skin (see instructions)
  • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • jalapeño chili chopped, no seeds, (wear rubber gloves)
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro

DIRECTIONS:
THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP:

  1. In a kettle, cook the onions in a mixture of the butter and the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until they are softened and starting to get translucent.
  2. Add the squash and 1/2 cup water, and cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  3. Add the broth and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Using a food processor, or a hand blender (as I prefer), purée the whole soup mixture.
  5. Serve the soup in a bowl and garnish with about a tablespoon of the chutney and sprinkle with some fried onion. (The fried onion was my husband’s idea)

THE CHUTNEY:

  1. Cover the almonds with boiling water for a few minutes. Drain the water and add cold water to the almonds. The skin will loosen up and you can easily remove the skin from the almonds. If this doesn’t work, repeat with the boiling water.
  2. In a food processor or with a hand blender, blend the almonds, the coconut, the jalapeño, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 cup of water until the mixture is ground fine. Add the cilantro and blend the mixture until it is ground fine.

(This recipe makes what is known as a “dry” chutney, which has a slightly grainy texture.) The chutney may be made 8 hours in advance and kept covered and chilled.butternut squash soup w chutney

Tina Diep

I LOVE FOOD and better yet I LOVE TO COOK.

I can thank my Vietnamese roots. Vietnamese people use a great amount of time cooking and eating, traits which they have learned from their families. Everyone seems to know how to cook, and they are adept at picking fresh and quality foods from the market. Food is a priority in Vietnam – if you eat well, you live well.

I was born in Denmark, and in my mind I am a true Dane. Danish people cook a lot as well, but they prefer to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the table. I consider myself Vietnamese from a culinary standpoint and Danish from a cultural standpoint (and I live in New York, which is a Mecca for foodies).

My mum is a great cook, she taught me how to chop vegetables and how to just randomly throw things together and somehow get an awesome meal. She makes cooking seem like art, and she is my inspiration for DiepLicious cooking.

My husband loves food as well and he has a great appetite. Cooking for him is a real joy. He has a great interest in everything that concerns health, and loves to point out specific foods and why they are good for you to eat. I will share his knowledge with you. He makes my cooking more challenging, but also a lot healthier.

I offer you one Golden Rule: to enjoy food fully, always taste the food even if you don’t like it. For me it takes a couple of tries to get to know the real flavor.

Enjoy!

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