Here in Seattle, the days are getting shorter, grayer, and colder. And rainier. I believe, but am too lazy to check, that it was last March that we only saw the sun two days for the entire month. It’s been getting darker too. Every year I’m surprised anew about how early it gets dark outside. Today the sun had set by 4:30, not that Seattle could tell. The gray sky gradually becomes black. The worse was when I used to arrive at work by 7:30. I’d pull into the parking lot as the sun was just coming up, and leave after the sun had already gone down. Small wonder that all the doctors around here seem to recommend vitamin D supplements.
Winter isn’t all bad, though. Living near mountains means that we’re just a short drive from skiing, and though the days are short, the winter sailing season is much windier than the summer. Just this past week several of the ski resorts in the area opened for the season. I wouldn’t be able to make it through the winter without seeing some form of snow, though I’ll admit that I’m always (slightly) grateful to drive back into the 40ish degree drizzle afterwards.
The drizzly winter (I know, I know, I don’t have much to complain about compared with the Midwest) weather put us in the mood for soup, and as luck would have it, we received a couple of butternut squash in the season’s last delivery for our CSA. I believe it was Nalena’s idea to try something different from our regular butternut squash soup. She’s a big fan of all kinds of Thai food, so we always have a container or two of curry paste in the fridge. If you can’t find any, curry powder should work just as well, though you might need to adjust the amount. Use any flavor that you like. We used red curry paste
like this one.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon curry paste ( or use curry powder to taste instead)
2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
Approx. 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or bouillon cubes dissolved in an equivalent amount of water
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for a few minutes, and then add the ginger and the garlic. Cook for a few minutes more, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the curry paste or powder. Now add the squash and enough broth or water to just cover the squash. Cover and simmer over low heat until the squash is tender, almost to the point of falling apart. Allow to cool somewhat, then run through a blender or use an immersion blender until smooth. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and Sriracha