Butternut Squash Soup with Mango

I have been slurping up ... I mean  dining on butternut squash soup lately.   Since it's in season, many restaurants have been featuring butternut squash soup, and I have accommodated them by indulging.  My favorite version was served in the Tierra Sur restaurant at Hertzog Winery.    Even TheHubby liked it, and he doesn't like butternut squash!  I wish I could recreate it, but all I could discern, besides the squash, was the usual pumpkin-like spices.

So I tried this version from A veggie Adventure instead.  It does not use cinnamon nor other pumpkin-ish spices; it has goodies which gives it more of an Indian flavor, including the not-so-secret ingredient mango.  But it is so excellent that I decided to be thoughtful and share with you anyway, Dear Reader.

Tierra Sur garnished its soup with white raisins, which adds a light sweetness.  When I made it, I didn't have raisins around to toss on,  but I did find mango fruit sauce (masquerading as Louisiana Hot Sauce, leftover from Passover, don't ask) which despite its name added a bare hint of spiciness.   I strongly suggest you use a real mango salsa instead, even if you have to buy it.  I have listed it as an option in the ingredients list below.

Butternut Squash Soup with Mango
slightly adapted from A Veggie Adventure
Yield: 4 servings

1 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. ground ginger (or 1 Tbl. fresh grated ginger)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 large onion
1 butternut squash (or 2 cups frozen cubed butternut squash, defrosted)
1 whole mango
1 can (14 ozs) light coconut milk
2 cups vegetarian chicken broth
1 Tbl. brown sugar
1/2 lime, juiced (about 1 Tbl.)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper (or to taste)
2 Tbl. mango salsa (for garnish, optional), divided
1/4 cup golden raisins, divided

 Use a vegetable peeler to remove skin of the squash.

Admire for a moment how the squash starts to "sweat."

Then, using a sharp knife, cut the squash in two pieces just barely below the neck.  If the seeds aren't exposed in the bottom half (such as here), poke the center with a small spoon to break through.

Scrape, scoop and discard the innards.

Marvel at how much stuff you scrape out of such a small squash.  Discard seeds and stringy "goop," then chop both halves into chunks around 1/2 to 1 inch.

The squash I bought yielded 6 cups.  Your mileage may vary.  Set aside 2 cups; freeze any excess for a future time.

Peel and chop the mango (visit my mango salsa page for a how-to) .  Chop onion (see my Spicy Corn Soup if you need a how-to for that as well).  Set both aside.

Heat a 3- or 4-quart saucepot over medium-high heat.  When hot, add olive oil, wait 10 seconds, then, drop in ginger, cumin and coriander.   Stir constantly for around 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.

Add chopped onion and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the edges start to brown.

Stir in butternut squash and mango, then saute, stirring occasionally until the squash starts to soften, about another 5 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk, broth and brown sugar. Bring just to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer.

Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is very soft, about 20 minutes.

Remove pot from heat, then process soup with an immersion blender until smooth.  Or let soup cool slightly, then carefully use a ladle to transfer soup to a food processor or blender; blend until smooth.

Stir in the lime juice, salt and pepper.

Divide soup among 4 bowls, then top with mango salsa and raisins, if desired.  Serve hot.