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Recipe Fri Sep 12 2008

Acorn Squash Soup with Cumin and Curry Leaf - Recipe

This is a fantastic squash soup that's fast to make and satisfying to eat. It was born out of a pinch (actually, just a few hours ago). I had to feed myself and my husband (who was under the weather with a nasty cold) with a rather meager supply of food. (Our fridge is definitely ready for the farmers' market tomorrow morning!) Aside from eggs and bacon, all I had were an acorn squash, half an onion, and a handful of peppers from the back porch planter (plus a loaf of bread I picked up on the way). I threw in my favorite spice combo--curry leaves and cumin seeds--from the cupboard, and we had a pretty good meal.

Acorn Squash Soup with Cumin and Curry Leaf
Serves two.

1 small acorn squash, cut into chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
4 anaheim peppers (or whatever mild chili peppers you have at hand), chopped
1 hot green chili, slit in the middle, seeds removed
10-20 curry leaves
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon butter

  1. Cut the squash into large chunks and remove the pulp.
  2. Boil about 3 cups of water in a pot and cook the squash pieces until tender. Keep the cooking liquid.
  3. While the squash pieces are cooking, melt the butter in another pot. Fry the onions until soft.
  4. Add curry leaves, cumin and green chili and fry until flagrant, on medium-low heat. You can use as much curry leaves as you like. I love them, and because the ones I had at hand were the dried ones from a few months ago, I probably used 30 of them--yum!
  5. Add the peppers and cook until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent the onions from burning.
  6. When the squash pieces are cooked through, discard the skin and transfer the "meat" to the other pot.
  7. Add a ladleful of the cooking liquid to the pot, and process everything into a smooth mixture, using a blender. Adjust the texture by adding more of the cooking liquid, if necessary.
  8. Season generously with salt and pepper.


Though this soup itself isn't one of the recipes in the book, I owe the inspiration to a Parsi cookbook I've been in love with these days. (I probably owe most of my familiarity with Indian spices to this book.) The combination of curry leaf and cumin has become one of my favorite spice pairings since I laid my hands on this amazing cookbook, and the reliable combo worked out great in this soup, too. I'm definitely making this again after my husband recovers from the cold, so he can taste it better.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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