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butternutsquash

Before I launch into today’s recipe, I’d like to share a little esoteric trivia with you. Esoteric in a world-wide sense, as our enlightened inner circle contains a bazillion people. But in order to understand the following, you must have a linguistic understanding of what www means and that’s a big outer-inner (out-there) circle.

Stick with me, there’s some logic to this intro, however convoluted it might be.

Today has great significance in the posting of this recipe. On November 12th, 1990, English physicist Tim Berners-Lee and Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau drafted a proposal entitled “WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project.” That’s what guys who work at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics lab, do in their spare time.

You know, when they’re not messing around with particle accelerators or smashing atoms.

Little did they know that their project and the alliterative fusion of three simple words would have such a profound impact on the future of information technology and the way we communicate. And on food. Although few of us understand what’s really going on in cyber-space, www has become a household “word” and making friends with people in far-off places is as easy as commenting on a blog.

Which brings me to the point of this post – Anne’s butternut, leek and ginger soup. The recipe originally came from Mitchell Beazley’s book, The Simple Art of Marrying Food & Wine. Anne, whom I met ages ago at Miles Collins’ blog, left her version of the soup in the comment section of my Dia de los Muertos post. I doubt that Tim and Robert had friendships, food writing and recipe exchanges in mind when they wrote their proposal for the HyperText Project and dubbed the nebulous world of mark-up language and stored information the WorldWideWeb. But that’s how things have unfolded in my little corner of culinary cyber-space (alliterations aside).

WWW has turned into FFF. WorldWideWeb. FoodFriendshipFun. I love it!

Okay, I’ve indulged myself in some off-kilter rambling, now on to food. This week’s CSA box contained butternut squash, onions, leeks and an assortment of other fall veggies and fruit. As luck would have it, those were the ingredients in Anne’s version of Mitchell’s version of butternut squash soup. Thanks for the inspiration, Anne. Here’s my version.

Butternut squash leek onion ginger curry coconut soup
what you need

1-2 butternut squashes (I ended up with about 4 cups of peeled and cubed squash) *
4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken)
1 cup water
2/3 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 apple, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
2-3 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (I like things gingery, use less if you please)
2 teaspoons curry powder *
roasted pumpkin seeds

what you do
Melt butter in a medium soup pot. Add onions and leeks and sauté until lightly browned. Add broth, water, apple, squash and ginger and simmer until squash is tender (30 minutes or so). Remove from heat and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully puree soup in a food processor, in batches, and transfer back into the soup pot. Add curry seasoning and coconut milk, stir well and reheat. Top with a few roasted pumpkin seeds, even though I forgot to do it before taking the picture.

* Check with Amy at SS & GF for detailed instructions on how to peel and chop butternut squash.

* My Madras-style curry mix contains turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, white pepper, cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and Tellicherry black pepper.

IMG_4115

The sisterhood of the traveling soup bowls would like to thank Tim and Robert for setting into motion the worldwideweb. We also appreciate the random brother with a bowl. Go forth and make soup!
Melissa

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33 Responses to “Anne’s butternut leek ginger soup”

  1. Alta says:

    Ooh I bet this is so good with the leeks! Yum! You should link this up to this week’s Holiday Food Fest (details on my blog) – you could win an apron!

  2. Amy @ SS&GF says:

    Thanks so much for mentioning me…believe it or not after all the butternut squash I’ve posted lately I still have 3 more in the fridge. Yep. I actually have 2 leeks leftover from yesterday – this soup looks like it would make good use of both. I’m bookmarking this – hopefully I’ll have time to make it this weekend.

  3. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    This soup, or a close Italian version of it, is what I’m having tonight…. and I might add with my own homegrown diminutive butternut squash. Since I still have some pesto in the fridge I might add a spoonful before a grating of Parmesan Reggiano. My cheese mentor tells me the rind is the best part (so don’t throw it away folks, grate it along with the rest, from frozen works well and keeps for ages).

    Yea verily my soup bowl shall overfloweth with gratitude to you Melissa and Anne and the www boys at Cern.

    Cid

    p.s. who ever does the cleaning at Cern’s accelerator plant? You never hear of a particle of butternut squash getting in…. which is why I would never be allowed to work there… :)

  4. Anne says:

    Melissa,
    Thank you for setting my simple comment into such a great blog post. I like your FFF version.
    Your variation to the soup sounds very good and may have more body. I shall most certainly try it. Thank you :) .
    I bought a pork hock and shall be adding everything from the veg. box to the storecupboard bar the kitchen sink for my next addition to our
    soup kitchen. :)
    Anne

  5. Anne says:

    Cid,
    Hope it does not mess up your new kitchen :( . Hope you are happy with it and is all you have hoped for.
    I, too love Parmigano but have taken of late to Pecorino Romano. Our former italian tour manager pointed it out to us and I pounced upon it as soon as it popped up in my supermarket :) .

    Melissa, are you able to purchase these italian cheeses in your area?
    Anne

  6. Laurie says:

    This one is already printed out to try. But I’m really waiting for help on our first GF Thanksgiving. When is it coming?

  7. this looks and sounds fabulous! thanks so much for the history lesson. loved it.

  8. Lauren says:

    Oh yum! The flavours in this are fantastic! I really need to make my own soup again soon =D.

  9. Cid says:

    Anne,

    Loved the soup and will be having it again today… one of the joys of making enough to cover several meal times. As for the kitchen, well I’m frantic about beetroot stains but that aside all is well. ‘Bout time you joined me for a spot of hot gossip and a power packed Melissa smoothie :)

    Cid

  10. Miles says:

    Melissa,
    Bloody hell, she gets every where that Anne!!!
    Lovely post.
    Miles

  11. Donna says:

    when do you put the coconut milk in? i think i missed it somewhere ? does it say or am i blind.ha

  12. Melissa says:

    Alta,

    Thanks for the head’s up about the Holiday Food Fest. The apron is darling.

    :-)

  13. Melissa says:

    Amy,

    Yes, it’s squash soup season around here, that’s for sure. Love Anne’s addition of leeks. I never would have thought of that.

  14. Melissa says:

    Cid,

    What a great idea with adding the pesto. And freezing the cheese and grating it. That’s exactly what I do with my expensive, pastured butter. I buy it in a block and freeze it, then grate it for baking when I need to add butter for crusts, etc. Doing the same with certain cheeses makes perfect sense (although it never entered my mind). Great tips, Cid. We do work well together, my friend.

  15. Melissa says:

    Katrina,

    Yes, indeed. Very delicious!

  16. Melissa says:

    Anne,

    I love the idea of having a “kitchen sink soup” on the menu at the Soup Siren’s Soup Kitchen. It goes with the general theme of the bistro.

    Yes, we can get good cheeses around here. In fact, a friend of mine would be a perfect supplier for our bistro — or Cid, a perfect place for you to work when you move here.

    :-)

    Cid & Anne — check out St. Kilian’s Cheese Shop here. Lovely location, lovely owners, lovely cheeses. When either of you two girls have an unfamiliar cheese suggestion for me, I’ll remember it (well, I’ll have to write it down to remember) and I’ll check with Ionah and Hugh.

    Here’s the link to the cheese shop.

    http://stkilianscheeseshop.com/

  17. Melissa says:

    Laurie,

    Diane at the W.H.O.L.E. Gang has a post on how to do Thanksgiving without going crazy.

    http://www.thewholegang.org/2009/11/weekend-kitchen-tip-how-to-cook-your-thanksgiving-meal-without-going-crazy/

    And GLING (a dedicated GF site) has all kinds of information.

    http://gling.com/

    There’s lots of information available on serving up a GF Thanksgiving. Google Gluten-Free Thanksgiving and you’ll be overwhelmed with choices. Lots of my blogging friends are focusing on that this year, but not me. Good luck and enjoy the holiday!

  18. Melissa says:

    Stephanie,

    Yes, I always seem to stray from food to random bits and pieces of information. It’s hard for me to stay on task!

    :-)

  19. Melissa says:

    Lauren,

    Soup is the perfect healing comfort food. Plus, it’s an easy thing to whip up most of the time, perfect for a young person!

    Check out Lauren’s “celiac teen” blog, everyone. I love it that you’re doing this at your age! Good for you.

    http://celiacteen.blogspot.com/

  20. Melissa says:

    Miles (Anne & Cid),

    You’re the one who started all this, Miles. It’s not our fault we’ve taken it to extremes. Women have a tendency to do that, you know.

    :-)

  21. Melissa says:

    Donna,

    Geez, sorry about that. I am one of those cooks who just makes things up or “loosely” follows recipes. Then I’m not exactly sure when I did what. I redid the recipe when I read your comment. I added the coconut milk later, but I’m sure it would be fine to add it with the other liquid. Thanks for tipping me off!

  22. Karen K says:

    Love your blog and I made this fabulous soup on the weekend. Tastes amazing. I put the milk in at the end and it worked great, used LACTAID milk as I have someone in the house that can’t have coconut milk and it was what I had on hand.

    • Melissa says:

      Karen,

      Thank you so much. I always appreciate hearing how my recipes come out when others make them. Anne’s recipe didn’t call for any milk, so you could make this totally milk free if you wanted (dairy and coconut milk free). Gosh, I wouldn’t like having a coconut allergy. Ugh! My heart goes out to whoever has that in your family.

      Take care…

  23. Anne says:

    Melissa,
    Just to let you know that I cooked your version today. A different concept, both good in their own ways.
    Girls, between us we have enough soups to get the show on the road :) .
    Have bowl, will travel :)
    Anne

  24. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    That deli looks a lot like mine, perhaps they would consider a job swap for next spring/summer?! These days I can look at a shop like theirs and know automatically how much cleaning and washing is involved etc. A full time deli owner has to face all kinds of problems, like hygiene, wastage and experimenting with different cheese selections to attract buyers. Here in the UK we can usually buy excellent dairy produce from up market supermarkets as well as specialist shops, so competition is tough. I’d love to know how our continental neighbours cope… every time I’ve shopped over there, the choice has been vast and turn-over pretty swift…. wonder if wastage is a problem for them? Cheap plastic cheese entered the food chain here years ago and the housewife is sometimes reluctant to pay more for a quality handmade farmhouse cheese, which is sad for them and sad for the producers. Right now we’re stocking lovely olive wood cheese boards etc to attract Christmas shoppers in the area and save them the bother of having to sit in traffic queues and park in the city. I hope all the excellent small businesses do well in the forthcoming weeks/months…. could be sink or swim in these dire financial times. My advice would be for consumers to buy the best they can afford, perhaps less frequently but make it go further and enjoy it all the more.

    The Soup Sirens Soup Kitchen Cafe (yikes the name is getting longer every time :) ) will be a galactic winner…. fine food, first class nutritional content and advice, international flair and uniquely stylish…. what more could they ask for?

    Cid

    p.s. I’m still keen to put Miles and GDave through the interview process just to make sure they measure up to our quality standards :)

  25. Marilyn says:

    Thank you for posting this recipe! A link to your blog was posted from the CSA website we both are a part of. Since we have been getting a lot of squash, I was thinking about toasting the seeds. As I was cleaning the seeds of the various squash I have I was all the sudden concerned that they may not be edible. Do you happen to know if any seeds are not fit eat?

  26. Donna says:

    thanks! it was yummy!

  27. Melissa says:

    Anne,

    I made another batch of soup today. My veggie box was full of spinach, potatoes, squash, carrots, beets, kale and other assorted fall-ish veggies. I tried a mix of spinach, potatoes, beans and tomatoes. Odd combination, but it tastes great. Tomorrow I think I’ll try carrot, ginger soup.

    Yes! Have bowl, will travel. Love it!

  28. Melissa says:

    Marilyn,

    I’ve toasted pumpkin seeds with great results, but haven’t tried the squash. I would think they would work just as well though. If you don’t have a recipe, let me know and I’ll pass one along. If you’re concerned about it, email Josh at Grant Farms, but I would think there is no problem with any of the squash or pumpkin seeds. They should all work fine. Sounds great! I love roasted seeds.

  29. Melissa says:

    Donna,

    Thanks for the comment! Glad to hear the soup came out well.

  30. I love butternut squash soup – it’s one of my favorites. I make a curry one too but I don’t usually put ginger in it – sounds great!
    Sarah

  31. Beautiful color and I’m sure fantastic flavor in that soup! I always love your posts, Melissa. FFF … how true!

    BFF ;-)
    Shirley

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