Velouté of Roasted Potimarron and Carrots with Coconut Milk and Curry



First things first. What in the world is a potimarron squash? Besides delicious. Which it is. Here's the 411- it's a chestnut-flavored squash, a variety of a small pumpkin. They are usually around 6-8 inches round. So if you can't find an actual potimarron, substitute with a small pumpkin...and add a bit of fresh ground hazelnut. This soup is also awesome with butternut squash. I've made this soup with all-- and it's a delight. I've also added crème fraîche (sour cream's big sister) instead of coconut milk and omitted the curry. I'm giving you options. Soup is good food. Do what sounds good to you and don't forget to taste along the way...

Hi! I'm a potimarron on a plate. Nice to meet you. I'm about to be roasted.






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Special Equipment: An immersion blender (I LOVE mine, highly recommended if you like making soup) or a food processor

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium-sized potimarron squash, de-seeded and quartered* 
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ground Cinnamon (optional) 
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock** (homemade recipe is here)
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, cut in pieces 2 inches long
  • 1 two-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder (plus extra to taste) 
  • the juice of 1 lemon*
  • 1 cup lardons (small pieces of pork) or pancetta- Optional
  • Pinch of paprika for garnish 
  • Pinch of nutmeg for garnish  (I grate mine)
  • Chives for garnish 
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
* An alternative to potimarron is butternut squash or a small pumpkin. Just add a bit of freshly ground nutmeg for a "nuttier" taste. Yep. I'm telling you to get nutty.

**Vegetarians/Pescetarians can subsitute with vegetable stock.

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 425°F. Get your arm exercises in by cutting the squash in quarters, being careful with your knife, and then de-seed, obviously discarding the seeds unless you are taking photos like I did (see below). Peel and chop your carrots- no particular size. We'll be pulversizing later. I line my baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean-up.  Place the squash and carrots on your tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with a few pinches of cinammon and salt and pepper. (I don't use much salt, opting to let people salt themselves. I do like pepper, though. We're seasoning to our tastes, see?) Bake/roast for 25 minutes. When the squash is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. In a medium-sized pot, add the squash and carrots to the chicken stock and coconut milk. Add the lemongrass and ginger. Add curry powder, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let the flavors infuse for about 20 minutes. Remove the lemongrass with a slotted spoon! Remove the pot from heat. Using an immersion blender, pulverize the mixture until creamy- no chunks. If using a food processor, pulverize in small batches, transferring the mixture to a bowl, then back to your pot. Taste the soup, upping the spices and/or lemon juice accordingly. Keep warm on a burner set to low.

If using lardons or pancetta, cook them in a pan until golden and add them in to your miam-miam soup. (Miam is yum in French.) Then serve your soup warm, garnishing it with more miam-miam.



Want to get fancy? Serve the soup in a hollowed out and de-seeded squash.

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Bon Appétit, Baby!



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