Monday, October 18, 2010

Moroccan Butternut Soup

I’m a bit of an old movie buff.  Particularly old romantic comedies.  I think it all began with the summer of 1991 when I broke my arm for the first time.  (I’ve broken my left arm a total of three times.)  So while all my friends were out swimming, playing in the woods, playing softball, and just running around having fun, I was cooped up inside.  I can’t remember if we had cable or not, but I know we didn’t have the movie channels.  So my aunt recorded a couple movies on VHS and I think I watched that tape at least once a week.  One of the movies on it was “Pillow Talk“, which still to this day remains one of my favorite movies, and began my love of Doris Day movies.  While I absolutely love her in the silly romantic comedies and have seen most of them, a while back I DVR-ed Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” because I was interested in watching Doris Day in a non-comedic role.  In case you don’t know, this movie is about a couple and their child vacationing in Morocco.  I remember one of the most interesting scenes to me was when Doris Day & Jimmy Stewart’s characters went out to eat in a Moroccan restaurant.  I swear to you, even though the movie is in black and white, I could almost SMELL the aroma of the dishes.  Around the same time I watched that movie, I also finally watched “Casablanca“, also set in Morocco.

Besides my love of old movies, I also have a love exploring different cultures, and trying new cuisines.  So it’s no surprise viewing those two movies sparked my interest in Morocco.  I think it sounds incredibly exotic & intriguing.  After traveling to Haiti for a week, I think I’d be up for ANY country.  What I love about different cultures and cuisines, is that each have their own unique flavors, smells, and textures.  I adore immersing myself in all the sensual aspects of different cultures.  From the obvious sights & sounds; to the smells & tastes, and how food actually feels, both in your hands and in your mouth.

Moroccan food is very distinct in it’s spices and flavors, as it’s a country that borders both Africa & Europe.  Cumin, coriander, saffron, chiles, dried ginger, cinnamon, and paprika are common spices; and garlic, chiles, olive oil, and salt help round out the Moroccan flavor profile.  Couscous (which I often enjoy) is a also typical Moroccan dish.  While butternut squash may not be a typical Moroccan vegetable, it can still shine with the addition of Moroccan spices.  This soup was spicy & sweet, and warm & comforting.  I often find that coriander is one of those mysterious spices people can’t often put their finger on.  And I think it gives this soup a unique flavor to set it apart from other pureed squash soups.  Definitely a bright point on a cool day (which we haven’t had enough of here in Nashville!).

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Moroccan Butternut Soup

from MyRecipes
Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 1 tablespoon sour cream)

Ingredients:

1 (2-pound) butternut squash (I used a combination of butternut & acorn)
2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°.

Pierce squash several times with the tip of a sharp knife. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membrane with a spoon. Place butternut squash, cut sides down, and garlic cloves in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pierce squash multiple times with a fork. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until squash is very tender.

While squash bakes, place curry powder and next 3 ingredients in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat; toast 1 minute or until fragrant. Set aside.

Peel cooked squash, and place in a food processor or blender. Remove and discard skins from garlic; add garlic to food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, and process until smooth.

Transfer squash mixture to a large saucepan. Stir in remaining 1 cup broth, milk, salt, and toasted spices. Cook over low heat 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and cilantro if desired.

Calories: 113 Fat: 2.4g (sat 1.3g) Protein: 4.7g Carbohydrate: 21.3g Fiber: 3.3g Cholesterol: 7mg Iron: 1.3mg Sodium: 430mg Calcium: 131mg

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7 Responses to “Moroccan Butternut Soup”

  1. 1
    Courtney — October 19, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    Erin – I just so happened to have the ingredients on hand for this soup and made it today – LOVED it! Definitely making its’ way into my recipe box for a truly cold fall day … because you’re right, these 84 degree days have got to GO!

  2. 2
    Maria — October 20, 2010 @ 7:54 am

    Love this soup! I will be trying it soon!

  3. 3
    Kandice — October 23, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    This recipe looks fantastic. We just got a share of produce from our coop and it included lots of squash. I’ll definitely be trying this one out. Thanks!

  4. 4
    masterofboots — October 24, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

    i’m always on the look out for interesting recipes. this looks great!

  5. 5
    StyleBlueprint — October 27, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

    Yummy! Can’t wait to try this!
    -Liza

  6. 6
    Jodi — October 29, 2010 @ 8:59 am

    This sounds wonderful—I can’t wait to try it! For anyone in a hurry, I discovered a *very* good ready-made butternut squash soup. Costco sells it in a 6-pack box of quart size cartons. Organic, tasty, and perfect for some Moroccan influence!

  7. Pingback: Warm Spiced Red Kuri Squash & Orange Soup with Cinnamon Harissa

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