Happy November! The last glorious shower of bright autumn leaves seems to be over, and the walk I took yesterday with my daughter and granddaughter into the woods had us grabbing our fleece jackets and winter hats. Winter is on the way.
I made this spicy butternut soup again - the one with the Indian spice mix called bhindi masala. If you don't have that particular mix, you can approximate it with this mix:
2 t. cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1/8 t. ground cayenne
1 t. tumeric
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. curry powder
To make about two big bowls of soup:
2 T. olive oil
1 stick of celery, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups peeled butternut squash, seeded and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 cup peeled sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 t. cumin ( in addition to the bhindi masala)
1/2 t. thyme
1 or 2 t. bhindi masala spice mix
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (you may need more depending on the moisture content of the squash and potato - it also thickens after pureeing)
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and the bhindi masala spices, the thyme and cumin. Stir.
Add the celery, butternut, and sweet potato and stir. Lower heat to medium.
Add the vegetable stock and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
Using an immersion blender, or a regular blender, puree the soup.
Taste carefully and add salt and pepper and more spice as wished.
Serve with croutons that have been sauteed in a little olive oil until browned.
Now, you're wondering about those goat cheese toasts, aren't you? I was reading Ruth Reichl's book, Comfort Me with Apples, and came across her adaptation of Wolfgang Puck's grilled California Goat Cheese on Toast - it sounded as though it would go beautifully with this soup, and it did. I only made two toasts, instead of six, so this is my adaptation.
4 or 5 slices fresh goat cheese, cut in 1 1/2 inch slices
about 2 T. fresh thyme leaves, pulled off stems
3 T. olive oil
freshly cracked pepper
2 large slices good French, Italian, or Portuguese white bread
Place the goat cheese in a shallow bowl, sprinkle on the thyme leaves and the pepper. Drizzle on the olive oil. Marinate for an hour at room temperature.
Use an oven or toaster oven to toast the bread, then top the bread with the goat cheese. Drizzle the olive oil left in the bowl on top of the toasts with goat cheese, and broil until the cheese is soft, warm, and a little melty. Sprinkle with more thyme leaves, and serve ( with a napkin!).
Butternut squash photo featured on TasteSpotting!