When my husband Walter and I started introducing our son Isaiah to solid foods at 6 months, we tried spoon-feeding him baby cereal and a variety of pureed fruits and veggies to no avail. He was not having anything pureed! Now, he is a whopping 19 months, where does the time go?
Our toddler eats a wide variety of solid foods and has sampled everything from rainbow trout at Tre Kromor to Mac & Teese at Chicago Diner. Last night, I watched as Isaiah happily spooned my butternut squash soup with a hint of curry into his mouth and all over his face and high chair. I had to laugh a little, because I thought, no wonder we could not spoon-feed this kid anything, he was holding out for the good stuff!
This soup reheats well, does not call for any dairy and can easily be vegan-ized by substituting veggie broth for the chicken broth. It could be a great way to introduce little eaters to the curry flavor along with the butternut squash, sweet potatoes and apple flavors that they might already be familiar with.
Spiciness levels can vary among curries, so I would advise getting familiar with a yellow curry and making sure it won’t blow steam out of your toddler’s ears before serving the soup. I am a huge fan of curry and have to stop myself from dumping a whole jar of it in just about everything. Restraint pays off in this dish because it lets the fall flavors of the produce really shine!
Butternut squash soup recipe with a hint of curry
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (Inactive time: 30 minutes)
6 cups of water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato
2 apples (1 for soup / 1 for garnish)
1 small onion
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of yellow curry
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of dried chives
Put water on high heat and start peeling, cutting and removing seeds from butternut squash. Relax, your cuts of the squash (and other produce) do not have to be perfect, because it is all going in the blender anyway. When water comes to a boil, add chicken bouillon. Add squash to broth.
Peel and cut sweet potato, apple and onion. Add each one to the broth as soon as they are prepared. Once all produce is in the broth, reduce heat to medium/low to achieve a simmer. Add salt, pepper and curry and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Check with fork to ensure all produce is tender.
Remove lid and let cool. It always takes longer than I think (about 45 minutes) for the soup to cool. The cooling phase is a great time to clean up or work on other dishes if your soup will be part of a larger meal. Or what the heck if you’re alone, take a cat nap. Why not? After doing something else for 30 minutes, get bowls out and start prepping garnish. Peel and cut apple into small pieces. Toss with lemon juice and dried chives.
Blend soup mixture in batches. It will probably still be warm, which is okay, but do not fill blender to the top to avoid an explosion. A few rounds of blending and returning the soup to the pot and you’ll have a homey soup before you know it. Preferences on soup consistency vary; so just remember you can adjust by adding a touch of water to thin it out or a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken it up. The time to do this is while heating it up again and stirring it after you have blended it.
Once the soup is hot again, serve and add the apple garnish to each bowl. I like to finish with a shake of dried chives over the whole bowl. If you have leftovers, making the apple garnish fresh for the second round works best. Enjoy!