11-24-08 Tribute to Thanksgiving / by Melanie Grizzel


I'm really excited about today's installment and for the rest of this week in fact. Besides photography and lots of other things, I am an avid cook. A lot of people think I excel in this department too. This year I have been asked to bring Butternut Squash Soup, Patty's Carrot Souffle, Mom's Stuffing, and Pecan Pie to our families "pot luck" Thanksgiving dinner.
This week I am going to prepare them and photograph them as I go and provide the recipes to boot. 
Today we are going to make Butternut Squash soup with Coconut and Ginger
2 large butternut squash halved and seeded
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt and cracked pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 sprigs fresh thyme
coconut shavings, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay upright the halved seeded butternut squash put a 1/2 tablespoon pad of butter in each cavity. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes remove brush each half with butter, return to the oven for 40 minutes more. When cooled, peel and cut into pieces.
2. In a large pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons in the olive oil. Add the onion, leek, ginger, curry podwer and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned. Add the wine and cook until evaporated.
3. Add the cooked squash, water, coconut milk and thyme sprig. Simmer over moderately low heat for 20 minutes. Allow to rest off the heat for 20 minutes.
4. Discard the thyme sprig. Working in batches, puree the soup in blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with coconut shavings and serve.