With Cooked Squash, You’re Golden – Curried Squash Soup with Crab Recipe
One of my favorite things about winter veggies is the many varieties of sweet, golden squash that seemingly are always available when it’s cold. Lately though, I’ve noticed that the winter stores of many varieties are dwindling, so last week I decided to grab a Kabocha squash while I still could. I’d been craving a soup that I haven’t made in far too long – a sweet, spicy combination of squash, ginger and curry. It’s just the thing for these late-winter evenings when we still hunger for steaming bowls of soup, but with the slightest hints of spring emerging, something on the lighter side completely satisfies. It would also give me a chance to finally try out that immersion blender I got for Christmas!
Most winter squash soups start with peeling and cutting, a task I disdain. Their very dense thick skin is not a pleasure to deal with when raw, but once roasted is easily removed. Plus, I’ve found that most recipes using pureed, cooked squash are not only easier but also tastier when you first roast the squash — although it does take a little more unattended time. I will often pop a squash in the oven to roast one night for use in a quick soup later in the week. And in the unlikely event that I lose my desire for soup, that squash can get tossed with pasta or risotto, or simply reheated and enjoyed every bit as much.
This soup is great with almost any dense, meaty winter squash. My favorites are Kabocha, Red Kuri or Blue Ballet, but butternut is a close second. You can easily skip the crab and for a change of pace serve with crispy cooked pancetta or bacon pieces scattered on top.
- 1 (4-pound) Kabocha, butternut or other dense winter squash, halved and seeded
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp curry powder
- 2 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Braeburn peeled and coarsely chopped
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ cup dry sherry
- ½ pound shelled cooked crab
- Salt, to taste
- Optional garnish: 1 red bell pepper cut in ¼ inch dice
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Roast squash, cut sides down, in an oiled roasting pan in middle of oven until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh from skin and set aside – you should have about 5 cups.
- Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and add the onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until the onion and celery are limp, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and curry powder. Stir 1 more minute.
- Add apples, broth, water, ginger, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil stirring often; cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes then add cooked squash and simmer 10 more minutes, until squash is hot and mashes easily.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf. In a blender, food processor or using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. Salt to taste, keep in mind crab will add a salty flavor.
- If using a food processor or blender, pour soup back into the pan. Add sherry and stir over medium heat just until steaming.
- Remove any cartilage and shell from the crab. Ladle soup into wide bowls, mound equal portions of crab in the center and garnish with bell pepper, if desired, and serve with crusty bread.