This healthful, creamy-tasting soup has a garnish good enough to snack on all by itself.
Make Ahead: Roast the pumpkin seeds several days ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature. The soup can be made 1 day in advance, covered and refrigerated. Reheat over low heat until warmed through. Prep the apple garnish just before serving.
Servings: 6 - 8
- For the garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 small Granny Smith apple
- For the soup
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound red onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 cups nonfat vegetable broth
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Combine the garlic powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt in a resealable plastic food storage bag. Moisten the pumpkin seeds with the water, then add to the bag and seal; toss to coat evenly. Spread the spiced seeds evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once, until the seeds are fragrant and appear dry. Let cool completely.
For the soup: Use kitchen twine to bind together the thyme and bay leaves.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, then add the butternut squash, vegetable broth, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bundle. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring almost to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low or low, cover partially (with the lid ajar) and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from the heat and discard the herb bundle.
Working in batches using a blender or food processor, or working in the pot with an immersion (stick) blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Just before serving, core the apples and cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks. Divide the soup among individual bowls; scatter pumpkin seeds on the top and build a small raft of crisscrossed apple matchsticks in the center of each bowl. Serve warm.
From executive chef Ethan McKee of Rock Creek at Mazza.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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