CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CILANTRO YOGURT,
AND SMOKED SAUSAGE
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
3 pounds butternut squash (about 1 large) unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds and stringy fibers scraped with spoon and reserved (about ¼ cup) and each half cut into quarters
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (optional if you like spicy)
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
4 ounces smoked sausage such as Kielbasa, or smoked chicken sausage, cut into small dice
1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until foaming: add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add squash scrapings and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water and 1 ½ teaspoons salt to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low.
2. Place squash cut-side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot with ingredients in step 1. Cover and steam until squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes.
3. White squash is steaming, stir together plain yogurt, minced cilantro, lime juice, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl.
4. Off heat, use tongs to transfer squash to rimmed baking sheet; reserve steaming liquid. When cool enough to handle, use large spoon to scrape flesh from skin into medium bowl; discard skin
5. Pour reserved steaming liquid through mesh strainer into second bowl, discard solids in strainer. Measure liquid and add water if needed to get back to 6 cups. Rinse and dry Dutch oven.
6. Sauté sausage in a small skillet until lightly browned.
7. In blender, puree squash and reserved liquid in batches, pulsing on low until smooth. While pureeing, add curry powder. Transfer puree to Dutch oven; stir sautéed sausage, cream and brown sugar and heat over medium-low heat until hot. Add salt to taste; serve immediately, garnishing each bowl of soup with a dollop of cilantro yogurt.
And of course, if you prefer not to cook, we always feature a homemade soup of the day here at the Hawthorne Hotel each and every day, so come on over to the Tavern or Nathaniel's for a cup or bowl.