Curry Kuri Squash Soup with Crab and Roasted Corn
Winter squash is an iconic fall vegetable. As one of the three sisters, the triad of corn, beans, and squash that formed one of the pillars of Native American food culture, it has supported human civilization for thousands of years. It has a deeply savory and sometimes sweet flavor that when combined with warming spice blends is the very incarnation of the autumn gods. In all its forms, from the familiar pumpkin and butternut to the pale ghost blue Hubbard and exotic red kuri, winter squash is not only a flavor bomb; it is a nutritional supernova. Red kuri, or as it is sometimes known, Hokkaido squash, is a brilliant source of vitamins A and C, and the minerals calcium, potassium, and iron. It is a prebiotic powerhouse delivering the fiber so essential for good gut health. This version of the winter squash classic takes advantage of the natural sweetness and slight nuttiness of this cultivar of Cucurbita maxima to craft an exotic extension of the traditional warm spice blends by adding refined curry notes. The result is a dish both stridently posh and charmingly delish-delosh! You can view the video on this recipe at on Chef Dr. Mike’s You Tube channel.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, with 1 tablespoon reserved
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, with 1 teaspoon reserved
- 1 quart light chicken stock (may use vegetable nage/stock or fish stock as well)
- 2 medium (1-2 pound each) Kuri squash, roasted & finely chopped
- Salt & White Pepper to taste
For the garnish:
- 8 ounces fresh cooked crab
- ½ cup roasted sweet corn kernels
- 1 roasted poblano pepper, finely diced
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- Juice of ½ grapefruit
- ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Split the squash into halves, remove the pulp and seeds (the seeds may be reserved and roasted for later use). Line a baking sheet with foil. Turn the squash flesh side up and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice mix. Place the squash flesh side down on the foiled baking sheet. Roast for approximately 45 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is easily pierced with a knife. Remove, cool, and remove the skins. Set the roasted winter squash aside.
In a large, heavy bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, warm the butter, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, celery, carrots, onions, 2 tablespoons of curry powder, and remaining 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice uncovered for about 3-5 minutes , until the vegetables are tender. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.
Add the squash and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes. The soup will naturally thicken. Process the soup in the pot using an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
For the garnish, mix the crab, corn, roasted poblano pepper, and pomegranate seeds in a small bowl with the grapefruit juice and ½ teaspoon curry powder. Season with salt and white pepper. Divide the garnish amongst the serving bowls and place in the center. Add the hot soup to the bowl and serve immediately