Curried Squash and Apple Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon unsalted butter1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped1 baking potato, peeled and chopped2 Macintosh apples, peeled, cored and chopped1 carrot, peeled and sliced1 celery stalk, with leaves, sliced1 red onion, finely chopped1 leek, white and tender green part only, thinly sliced1 shallot, finely chopped2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger1 cinnamon stick1 tablespoon salt1 teaspoon mild curry powder6 cups water3/4 cup coconut milk (or one 5.5 ounce can)1 tablespoon honey (optional)1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar (optional)Freshly ground pepperFresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil and butter. Add the squash, potato, apple, carrot, celery, onion, leek, shallot, ginger, cinnamon stick, salt and curry powder and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 15 minutes.2. Add the water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes.3. Let cool slightly then puree in a blender (working in batches--or use an immersion blender) until smooth. Taste and stir in the honey and/or vinegar if needed, along with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with cilantro leaves if desired.