Red kuri soup. Red curry soup?… actually, both sound delicious. I love, love squash soups. I have a couple that I often make during the fall and holidays, so I was excited to see one in Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook around my french table. But when I read the recipe, I was a bit disconcerted – I’d never heard of or seen a red kuri squash. It sounded great – no peeling? really? Unfortunately no picture of the squash in question either.
Fast forward a year (!), and when I was in one of our local markets – there it was! a sign for red kuri squash! But… none to be found in the bin. There’s a Whole Foods in my neighborhood, so I thought that since the squash is actually available in the US (at Bashas no less!), it’s probably there. On my trip in, I did find the elusive squash. A beautiful, nubby thing. I thought (because of course I had not really planned ahead) – pick a small one (of course, but one that is heavy for its size). I was quite enchanted. When I got home, I compared what I bought with the recipe – a perfect match (about 3 lbs). with almost nothing else left to buy, I was on my way!
You need to cut the squash as usual, and scoop out the insides. I made sure to cut off any bumpy parts of the skin too, since it doesn’t generally get removed, but I didn’t think that would be too nice to have hard pieces in there.
The recipe calls for 3 leeks, or 2 large ones. The package at the store only had two smallish ones in it, but since I knew I had part of a sweet onion on hand, I just substituted. I have to say, it was so much easier than peeling all of the squash. I knew I should trust Dorie, didn’t quite – but was hopeful at this point.
Then equal parts of water and milk are added (the recipe says you may need more or less, but it’s about 6 cups total). The whole thing gets simmered for about a half-hour, until the vegetables are tender, and it looks like this –
I was amazed and super-pleased at the velvety-texture of the soup. It has such a gorgeous color, with just a few tiny flecks of a deeper orange. Instead of the apple topping, I went with the same creme fraiche, but added some bacon and a green chile relish I had on hand (it’s a bit sweet, a bit hot). I also made a loaf of pumpernickel bread, since I thought it would compliment the flavors in the soup.
This was just a terrific bowl of deliciousness. I liked the contrast of the beautiful texture of the soup with the crunch and salty/smoky flavor of the bacon, and a little kick of the chile. It’s also wonderful on its own, and would be great with other toppings, including the apple that Dorie suggests. This is definitely going to be on the menu in the coming weeks!