Curried Squash and Apple Bisque with Leek

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Prep Time; 30 minutes       Cook Time; 50 minutes      Serves 6 (478G)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium leeks, white part only, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large celery stocks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup tart apple, peeled, cored, diced into ½” cubes (measure after chopping)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes (measure after chopping)
  • 1 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • 1/4t. cinnamon
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ quarts vegetable stock
  • 2T. maple syrup
  • 2T. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream or evaporated skim milk (optional)
  • 2T. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a heavy-bottomed 6-quart pot, sauté the leeks, celery, apple and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes.

2. Add the curry powder, cinnamon, and bay leaf and stir until the spices become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the squash, potato, and stock, stir and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the potato crumbles when pressed with a fork.

3. Remove from the heat, fish out the bay leaf and discard. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender (working in small batches), puree the soup until completely smooth.

4. Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer, taking care not to push the fibrous solids through the mesh. Return the soup to the stove and return it to a light simmer to reduce until the soup will lightly coat the back of a spoon.

5. Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup, the optional evaporated skim milk, a dash of pepper, and the fresh orange juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. A bit of crumbled bacon and chive sprinkled over the soup before service is a nice touch, and many—including Anthony Bourdain—choose to drizzle a little extra maple syrup as well.