This recipe is based upon one in the Williams-Sonoma vegetarian cookbook. We have taken a number of recipes from this book, and this was one that we had to alter the least (the book isn't generally known by us for its clarity, although once deciphered it is consistently great). For the 2009 party we chose to go with something other than a simple squash soup, and the carrots and cilantro really add a great flavor that compliments the butternut.
Butternut Squash--Carrot Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 butternut squash, about 1.25lb, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp ground coriander
6 cups vegetable stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt with 1 teaspoon of water whisked in until smooth)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium low heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the squash, carrots and sugar and continue to saute, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric and coriander and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes longer. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, until the squash and carrots are soft, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Working with about 2 cups of soup at a time, place in a blender and puree on high speed until very smooth and light, about 3 minutes. Transfer each batch to a large saucepan. Soup should have consistency of heavy (double) cream. If it is too thick, thin with water.
Place soup over medium-high heat and warm to serving temperature. Add salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, stir cilantro and lime juice into the soup, mixing well. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and drizzle with sour cream or yogurt. Serve at once.