Friday, November 04, 2005

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lime

1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger root
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 c. peeled, seeded and thinly sliced butternut squash
2 c. canned chicken broth
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. about 1 1/2 inch long julienne strips peeled fresh ginger root
4 thin decoratively cut lime slices

In a large saucepan, cook the onion and the ginger root in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and add the squash, the broth, 2 cups water, and the garlic. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer the mixture covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until squash is tender. Puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor and transfer the puree to the pan.
Stir in the lime juice and salt and pepper to table and reheat the soup over moderately low heat until it is hot. The soup may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
In a small skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it fry the ginger root, stirring for 1 minute or until it is pale golden. Transfer ginger root to paper towels to drain. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, float a lime slice on each serving and top it with some of the fried ginger root. Makes 6 cups, serving 4.