Friday, February 4, 2011



My hubby was down with really bad tooth pain last week (do you see how my cooking revolves around him? :D). I couldn't look at his sad puppy face and wanted to cheer him up by making dinner he didn't have to chew! And what's better than a bowl of soup? I had a butternut squash sitting in the kitchen for about a week which was a perfect ingredient. I've always just roasted butternut squash, which by the way tastes amazing, until now. Soup out of roasted squash seemed like a good idea, but I wanted to give it some more flavor. I did some crazy thinking and thought of giving one of my mom's recipes a twist (the effect of watching Iron Chef a little too much) - pumpkin sabji turned into butternut squash soup! Pumpkin sabji may not sound too exciting but oddly my friends used to love it too. I decided to use all the ingredients from the sabji in the soup and did it taste good! This experiment made me a little nervous thinking the spices I used would overpower the squash, but it was just perfecto!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

2 teaspoons grated coconut
Half medium onion chopped
1 whole red chili
1 dried bay leaf
1 big garlic clove
½ Teaspoon fenugreek seeds 
Black pepper
Water/vegetable broth
Couple of pinches of Brown sugar
  • Chop the onions and mix with the shredded coconut. Use fresh coconut instead of the dried one.
  • Cut the garlic clove, bay leaf and red chili in half and put in the belly of the squash halves.
  • Fill the squash with coconut-onion filling.
  • Add a small cube of butter on top so the squash and the filling roast nicely while locking in the moisture.
  • Sprinkle some brown sugar/crushed jaggery on top…just a little. It caramelizes beautifully. I used jaggery since that's what I had in my pantry and went well with other Indian flavors.
  • Roast in the overn for about 20 mins on 400F. Remove when the squash is a little darker than golden brown…poke a knife and make sure the squash is soft.
  • Scoop out the filling and the flesh…remove the bay leaf.
  • Puree the in the food processor adding some water in between. You can use vegetable stock but water was perfectly fine. Keep the soup nice and thick.
  • Put some crushed black pepper on top after serving.
  • Instead of using cream, I whipped some yogurt and put a dollop of it on top – a healthier option!
The soup was so heartwarming! Butternut squash - like the name suggests - is so creamy and buttery I din't have to add any real cream. All the ingredients shined through individually while maintaining the delicate flavor of the squash. The sweetness of caramelized onions, toasty-nutty flavor of the coconut and the bay leaf fragrance - just divine! It was a happy marriage. This was a big hit with my husband who has asked me to make it again...yep! :)

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