This soup reminds me of fall.. it uses butternut squash (which is a winter squash, usually harvested in September - October). Also, with the addition of roasted red pepper, the soup is a gorgeous reddish orange, reminiscent of the beautiful crimson and gold leaves on trees in fall. I tried a new technique on an old recipe and it turned out to be quicker and tastier.
1 Butternut Squash
1 Red Bell Pepper
1-2 stalks Celery, chopped
1/4 tsp Rosemary
1-2 Bay leaves
1 tbsp + 1tsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Garam Masala( I used Kitchen King)
3 C water
Halve the Butternut squash, Red Bell Pepper and quarter the Onion. Toss in 1 T Olive oil and roast in an oven at 375F for about 30-45 min. Place the Squash with the skin side facing up. The red pepper and onions get roasted much faster than the squash (in about half the time), so watch carefully to avoid burning. The red pepper is done when the skin gets charred. The squash is done when it is fork-tender. Place the roasted red pepper in a covered bowl, letting it sweat for about 10 minutes. After that, the skin slips off easily. Peel the Squash skin as well and cut into large chunks.
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a soup pot and add the bay leaves and celery. After about 3 minutes, add the roasted squash, peppers and onions, cinnamon, rosemary, nutmeg, Garam Masala and water. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Cool and puree to desired consistency. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, or a swirl of cream, a topping of toasted sunflower/pumpkin seeds or just as is.
The sweetness of squash and red bell pepper, intensified by roasting, worked really well in a soup that is alive with flavors. A great meal starter.