Sunday, December 02, 2007

Indonesian Butternut “Knockoff” Soup

3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded
1 tbs curry paste
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tbs canola oil
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp whole chilli flakes
2 tsp whole fenugreek
1 whole anise pod
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbs ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 tbs brown sugar, or to taste
3 cups water
3 cups V-8 juice
2 (400 ml) cans coconut milk
½ bunch spinach, washed and chopped
Peel and remove seeds from squash. Cut flesh into large cubes. Combine curry paste with 1 tbs oil. Toss together with squash. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Roast at 375F for ½ hour. Meanwhile, grind whole spices. Thoroughly combine with pre-ground spices. Heat 1 tbs oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent. Add spices and cook for about 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
Place roasted squash in pot with onions. Cover with 3 cups water and V-8 juice; bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Using a hand blender, puree soup until smooth. Return to temperature. Stir in brown sugar and chopped spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
When spinach is soft, serve soup over basmati rice or with slices of artisan bread.

Notes: Grind whole spices in a blade-model coffee grinder, but be sure it gets designated it for spices only. Adjust amount of brown sugar depending on how sweet the squash is.

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