Happily, most of the recipes in my Thanksgiving repertoire are naturally gluten-free. The only exceptions are the stuffing for the turkey and the gravy, which are easily managed with gluten-free bread and rice flour, respectively. I like to make soups and usually feature one in my holiday meals. This year I made my favorite, the curried butternut squash soup from The Silver Palate Gourmet Cookbook (vintage 1980's). The first time I made this soup I followed the recipe faithfully and the soup was inedible because the recipe calls for 4 teaspoons of curry powder. I may have had fresh curry powder, but in any case, I had to throw the whole batch out. Since then, I have made some adaptations to the original recipe, mostly in the way that I prepare it, but most definitely in the amount of curry powder I use. I usually cut the recipe in half and then use a slightly larger squash than called for (— how do you determine whether a squash is medium sized anyway?). Then I add more stock than is called for because I like my soup on the thin and silky side, rather than heavy and chunky. I also cut down on the butter and I make my own curry powder minus the ginger, tumeric and mustard. Here it is. It is always a hit.
Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 2" cubes
(use a vegetable peeler and if need be, microwave the squash for 1 minute first to soften)
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped (plus a bit more julienned for garnish)
1/2 cup apple juice
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
Melt butter in heavy stock pot or dutch oven. Place onion in pan, sprinkle with curry powder, salt and pepper and sauté on medium-low heat until onions are transparent (about 10 minutes). Add squash and apple pieces and continue to sauté a bit, then add stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes or so or until squash and apples are soft. Puree in batches in a food processor or use an immersion blender. (In my experience, the food processor gives a smoother texture). Return soup to stockpot or dutch oven and heat, adding apple juice. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot with julienned apple and toasted pumpkin seeds. Sometimes I add a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche too.
Feeds 6 to 8, depending on serving bowl.