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Butternut squash 'mulligatawny'

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 10 to 12
Butternut squash ‘mulligatawny’
1

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and brush the insides with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on an ungreased baking sheet and roast in a 400-degree oven until tender, about 55 minutes. When the squash is done, cool and scoop the pulp out of the skin. Set aside.

2

Meanwhile, heat the apple juice in a medium saucepan. Add the diced apples and poach until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Strain the apples from the juices, setting aside the apples to use later. Continue to boil the juice rapidly until it is reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes; set aside.

3

In a heavy, 5-quart saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onion and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

4

Add the ginger, lemon grass, bay leaf, thyme, curry powder and rice. Cook, stirring constantly, over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is fragrant and the spices coat the vegetables.

5

Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, reduced apple juice and squash pulp. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook until the flavors are blended, about 30 minutes.

6

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Working in batches and using a blender, carefully puree the mixture or use a stick blender and puree the soup in the stock pot.

7

Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish each with a swirl of yogurt, a sprinkling of cilantro and a spoonful of diced apples.

From executive chef Terry Sheehan at the Ahwahnee hotel.

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