Sometimes during the dead of a long grey winter, we all could use a little pick-me-up. I can't say we need sunshine in our lives here because believe it or not we've had absolutely incredibly beautiful weather on the Oregon coast, but other parts of the country haven't been quite so fortunate. Should you be feeling a little down in the dumps and in need of a glorious golden glow in your life then I've got just the ticket.
I happened upon a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens for a Chicken Butternut Squash soup that piqued my interest and then I remembered my friend Leigh mentioned she had made her version of this one from Simply Delicious so I thought why not combine the two and make a JBug version.
You can't make a super soup without flavor agents and this one's got a ton of them including onion, carrots, celery, fresh ginger, garlic and a ton of spices all sauteed for a few minutes to release their flavors before the liquids hit the pot.
To change it up a bit, after a half hour simmer I whizzed up our pot of sunshine with my trusty immersion blender. A quick taste shreaked for more yum, so I added additional curry powder and a drizzle of honey for sweetness along with salt and pepper.
Finished with a splash of cream and topped with roasted butternut squash, shredded chicken from yesterday's leftovers, chunks of Granny Smith apple, crunchy croutons, and fresh cilantro, this is a winner winner chicken soup dinner that'll have you glowing right to your toes. I've posted my version below, but be sure to hit the links above for the original recipes.
Chicken Curry Butternut Squash Soup from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Better Homes and Gardens as well as Simply-Delicious.co.za
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup dried apricots, snipped
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)
Salt and course ground black pepper
1-1/2 pound butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cubed
Fresh cilantro as garnish
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven until shimmering. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook until onions are transparent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute and then add curry powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves, bay leave, red pepper flakes and flour. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes to toast spices, then add tomatoes, chicken stock, apriccots and honey. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from heat and using an immersion blender, carefully puree mixture until smooth.
Return pot to heat and stir in heavy cream. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Meanwhile preheat broiler. Peel, seed and cut squash into 3/4 inch cubes. Place on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Broil for 10 minutes, stirring as needed until squash is cooked and a golden color.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with shredded chicken, apple, croutons and butternut squash. Top with fresh cilantro. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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