Food on the Hill: Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup

Food on the Hill
This Week’s Recipe:
Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup
Photo by Felicia Orth
The acorn squash is glossy green, ribbed, and sits next to the butternut squash–tall, pale yellow and smooth.  No need to choose between them. They are delicious together, whether roasted and mashed, sliced into gratins or casseroles, and in this lovely soup. This recipe is lightly adapted from the 1977 Moosewood Cookbook, which holds many of the soup recipes I use and adapt. Although you could take a shortcut by adding a tablespoon of spice rack curry powder instead of the individual curry spices described below, using the spices set out below results in a more delicate curry flavor that is enjoyed by as many children as adults.
Photo by Felicia Orth
Yield:  6 servings
2 acorn or butternut squash or 1 of each
3-4 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 chopped onion
1-4 cloves crushed garlic
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. dry mustard
1 ½ tsp. salt
A dash or two of cayenne powder
Juice of one lemon
Yogurt dollop and chopped or sliced, toasted almonds for garnish
Split the squash, oil the cut surfaces and bake 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven, or until very soft. Cool and scoop out the insides. If you prefer a smooth soup, put the squash into a blender with the broth or water and puree; transfer to a stock pot. I prefer a chunkier soup, so I mash the squash with the broth or water in a stock pot with a potato masher. Add the orange juice.  
Photo by Felicia Orth
In a skillet, heat the butter or oil and sauté the onions and garlic with the salt and spices. You will have to add a little water as the spices thicken around the onion bits. Add the mushrooms, cover, and cook ten minutes. Add the sauté to the squash, and heat everything together on a low flame. Add the lemon juice and taste to correct the seasoning. Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt and the almonds. 
The recipe is easily multiplied and the flavors deepen if it is made ahead.
Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup
Photo by Felicia Orth