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Curried Butternut Squash Soup (Japanese Curry)

Roasting caramelizes the natural sugars and intensifies the flavors of the squashes, apples and leeks, giving this soup a rich character that is highlighted by Japanese curry. A blend of aromatic spices enlivened with star anise, Japanese curry contributes a delicate sweetness and mild heat to the soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small butternut squashes, each about 1 1/4 lb., halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 lb. tart apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 large or 2 slender leeks, cut into slices 1 inch thick
  • 1 Tbs. Japanese curry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Crème fraîche or plain yogurt for garnish
  • Chopped tamari almonds for garnish

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

Spread the squashes, apples and leeks in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with the curry and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the squashes are fork-tender and the vegetables and apples are tinged with gold, 20 to 25 minutes.

Working in batches if necessary, transfer the roasted vegetables and apples to a food processor and process until a coarse puree forms. With the motor running, pour in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the broth and process until almost smooth.

Transfer the puree to a large saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir in the remaining broth and the wine and bring just to a simmer, stirring often. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Drizzle each serving with crème fraîche and sprinkle with tamari almonds. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.