Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
1 butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat an oven to 375°F.
Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and place it, cut side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake until the squash can be easily be pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly. With a spoon, remove and discard the seeds. Scrape the pulp from the skin. Discard the skin.
Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 7 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric, and coriander and continue to cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the squash, carrots, sugar, chicken stock, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the carrots are soft, 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Puree the soup, in several batches, in a blender until it is very smooth, 3 minutes per batch. Strain it through a fine-mesh strainer back into the pot, and gently reheat. If the soup is too thick, add some water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the yogurt in a small bowl. Season it with salt and pepper, and stir well.
Ladle the hot soup into soup bowls, garnish with the cilantro and a drizzle of yogurt, and serve.
TO DRINK: Sauvignon Blanc