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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Butternut Apple Cardamom Soup

Butternut season is not over yet and I'm riding that wave as long as I can.  There's no squash quite like the butternut.  It is so versatile that it pairs well with the strangest combinations.  Today I let myself be inspired by LoveandLemons, and then let myself drift into my senses to sweep myself off my feet.  I was very surprised with the outcome of this soup.. the good kind of surprised.  The one where it seems like everything will be good but that cardamom might be a touch too crazy for a non-dessert, non-Indian soup, but ends up being so good you want to make it public.  This soup could be on the menu of any fancy restaurant.  The flavors are very present, yet pure, meaning I can actually taste my mood with each spoonful.
I love it when that happens...
Serves 2-3 as a meal
1 butternut squash, halved
1 small sweet potato, peeled and halved
1 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into wedges
1 apple, peeled and sliced into wedges
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic in their skins
enough olive oil to drizzle over the veggies before roasting
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup water if needed
1/2 inch piece ginger, coarsely chopped
3 cardamom pods, dry roasted and ground
4 Javanese long pepper berries, ground
1/2 tsp dried piment d'espelette
some fleur de sel to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish
1.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on all the vegetables.  On a baking sheet, place the butternut halves cut side down along with the sweet potato and kohlrabi wedges.  Bake at 200°C 400°F for 20 minutes.
2.  Turn over the butternut halves and sweet potato and add the apple wedges, onion slices, and garlic to the baking sheet.  Bake for another 20 minutes.
3.  While all that is happening, place the ginger pieces in a pot with the piment d'espelette and coconut milk.  Heat to a light simmer, then remove from heat until the roasting is finished.  The ginger will infuse the coconut milk with all its greatness while you wait.
4.  Scoop out the butternut flesh and place it in the pot with the coconut milk.  Squeeze the garlic out from its sheath and add all the rest of the roasted vegetables and apple.  Heat through and stir so the infused coconut milk coats everything.
5.  Using an immersible blender, blend everything into a soup, adding water if needed to thin it out.
6.  Stir in the ground cardamom and long pepper.  Taste and add a touch of fleur de sel if needed.

Serve garnished with some chopped cilantro.

This soup will knock your socks off.  The cardamom makes it intriguing.  It pairs so nicely with the butternut and apple.  That deep flavor aftertaste is unmatched.  The long pepper gives it a slightly smokey taste with a touch of spice and the apple gives it a pleasant PePs.  Coconut milk makes it velvety and creamy and enhances the spices.
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