I spent the last two weeks bitching about it being cold, whining about my fading tan, missing my sun dresses and skirts, and generally being inconsolable that winter is so rapidly approaching. The long, dreadful, dreary Midwestern winter. OMG, I literally want to weep thinking about it.
I even booked a flight with Liz to go visit Holly for a girl’s weekend in California this week (I’m pretty sure we’re going to rip a hole in the space/time continuum with all the hot Crossfit bitches awesomeness). And guess what? It’s 80 here this week. I actually laid out for an hour today. WHAT IS THIS TAUNTING FRESH HELL?!?
In any case, I’m sure it’s fall-ish where you are or it will be at the very least sometime soon and since squash is in season, this is a perfect recipe for a cold night. You could put it in the crockpot and forget about it all day or cook it on the stove. If you want your house to smell amazing for hours on end, I recommend the crockpot. Also you can watch football and drink margaritas and totally not forget you were cooking stuff on the stove until WOOP WOOP SOUP BOILING EMERGENCY! Not that I can be distracted by football and booze. Nope, not me.
I use Ras el Hanout – a Moroccan spice blend. Each one is different and contain up to fifty different ingredients. If you can’t find it (my local large-chain supermarket has it in the Health Market section), you can sub sub 2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon/clove. But I still recommend you find it because it’s so awesome and versatile and can be used with many different dishes to bring out unique flavors. If you do substitute, skip the additional 1 tsp of garam masala.
Crème fraiche is like a sour cream with a higher butterfat content and less tart. I chose to forgo the traditional kind and make an easy “cheat” one with coconut milk to offset the ginger and Moroccan flavors. You dollop this in last in the middle and then swirl it around with a skewer or sharp knife to give it a cool effect. And then you eat it and make a mess of your pretty swirlies anyway.
Recipe: Spicy Ginger Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Crème Fraiche
- 8 c. peeled and chopped butternut squash
- 5-6 c. chicken stock (enough to just cover the squash in a large pot)
- 4 carrots
- 1 c. chopped onions
- 2 lg. celery stalks
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 stalk fresh ginger (about 3 inches long), peeled and grated
- 4 tsp Ras el Hanout
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp yellow curry
- 1-2 tsp salt, add slow to taste
- For the coconut crème fraiche:
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 can coconut milk + 1 cup whey the night before
- Make a mirepoix with the celery, onion, butter
- When the onions and celery are translucent, add all other ingredients.
- Bring to boil then reduce to simmer on low for 60-90 minutes.
- Blend. You can use an immersion blender or put it in your regular blender in small batches.
- Make coconut crème fraiche, add to soup, stir with stick