One look at the title of this recipe, and I'm drooling. From Gourmet and found on Epicurious a few falls ago, it's one of Christian's favorites; and since he was just visiting before taking off to Peru for the month of November, I decided to make it while he was home. Not only does the delicious chutney that tops the orange-flavored butternut soup include chili and cilantro, but it also combines the sweetness of coconut and crunchiness of almonds. I didn't have two jalapeños in the house, so I used one serrano pepper, as well, which accounts for the touch of red in the chutney. It's a perfect lunch with a crunchy baguette or first course before dinner. And like most soups, it's even better on day two!
Makes about 10 cups
Ingredients for Chutney
- 1/4 cup sliced, blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
- 2 jalapeño chiles
- 2 cups loosely packed cilantro
- 1/3 cup water
Ingredients for Soup
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons butter (I use olive oil here and below)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- A 3 to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, the seeds and strings discarded, and the flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 cups chicken broth
- Two 4-inch strips of orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
- 8 cilantro sprigs for garnish
Make the chutney:
- In a blender of food processor, blend the almonds, coconut, jalapeño, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 cup water until the mixture is finely ground.
- Add the coriander and blend the mixture until fine. (This recipe makes what is known as a dry chutney, which has a slightly grainy texture.) The chutney may be made 8 hours in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes about 1 cup.
Make the soup:
- In a kettle, cook the onions in the oil (and butter, if using) over moderately low heat, stirring until they are softened.
- Add the squash and 1/2 cup water and cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Add the broth, zest, and the juice and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- In a blender or food processor, purée the mixture in batches and strain it through a sieve into a large bowl. The soup may be made one day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each serving with about a tablespoon of the chutney, to be stirred into the soup, and a coriander sprig.