We are back in South Africa…back to our second home, and I am SO happy to be here! Right now, it is 2am in Atlanta and I am sitting in the sun on the patio…8am in Jeffrey’s Bay. Mornings like this really are a gift from Jesus. A precious reminder of how much he loves us, and how many blessings we all have. Perfect 70 degree weather, sun shining, waves rolling in on the beach…God is amazing. He is big enough to create the ocean in all of its power…but intimate enough to create the simple delights in life…banana trees growing in the back yard, beautiful little purple flowers growing up the side of the porch. Perfectly ripe mangos (its mango season here, YAY!) and perfectly sweet butternut squash.
I am a huge fan of butternut squash…and I think that some of the best grows right here in South Africa. It is bright orange, and so sweet. I pretty much try to put it in everything when we are here…but one of my favorite ways to really highlight the flavor and overall yumminess of butternut is creamy butternut squash soup.
I learned how to make this soup while we were in South Africa about 2 years ago. It is one of Ria’s (our South African grandma/fearless leader of Ithemba) specialties…she brought it over to our house for dinner one night and I totally fell in love. I did tweak the recipe just a little bit (hers calls for heavy cream, which does make it all the more creamy…but I don’t think much is lost subbing skim milk).
Butternut Squash Soup
8 Cups water
1 medium butternut squash
1 large white onion
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 or 1 teaspoon curry powder (depending on how much curry flavor you like!)
1/8 teaspoon cayanne pepper
1/2 Cup milk (I use skim)
Makes 4 servings
Place a medium sized pot, filled with the water, over high heat and bring to boil. Peel and half the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Cut it into 1 inch chunks. Roughly chop onion into 1 inch chunks.
When the water is boiling, place the butternut, onion and 1 teaspoon of salt in the pot. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, until the butternut is very fork tender.
Drain half of the water out of the pot. Using a hand blender (or a regular blender…its just messier) blend the onion and butternut together until smooth.
Add the additional salt, curry powder, brown sugar, and cayanne pepper. Blend again. Place the mixture back on the stove over low heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes (it should be a little thinner than baby food). Next, add the milk and stir well.
At this point, the soup is ready to serve…but it is also a great make-ahead item…I think it tastes even better the next day.
Serving suggestions: I like to serve the soup with a salad or a grilled sandwich. Make a grilled cheese with your favorite white cheese…but add ham and some thinly sliced pear…the perfect lunch or dinner!