Thursday, January 2, 2014

Curried (Chicken and) Butternut Squash with Wild Rice Soup

1 cup uncooked wild rice blend (Lundberg makes a good one)
2 boneless chicken breasts* (@ 1/2-3/4 lb). cubed or sliced thinly
5 cups chicken broth (or "no chicken" veggie broth*)
2-3 lbs seeded, peeled, and cubed butternut squash (@ 3-4 cups)
1 large tart and crisp apple, peeled and cored (Empire/Granny Smith)
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 tsp. curry powder (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook the wild rice blend in a covered saucepan (or rice cooker) with 1-3/4 cups of the chicken broth for @ 45 mins. Add more water at the end if rice is still crunchy. 

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, saute the chicken in garlic and olive oil until cooked, remove and set aside. For veggie version, skip this step and just saute the onion and garlic in the oil.

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent.

Add the butternut squash, apple, and remaining chicken broth. Add curry powder and pepper. Cover and cook until the squash is tender.

Mash (with a potato masher) or puree the mixture with an immersion blender. If you like a chunky soup, remove and reserve some of the squash mixture before mashing.

Mix rice, chicken, and any reserved squash mixture back into the pureed soup. Add salt to taste and more curry (if you used less and want more zing). If mixture seems too thick, add a little water. Simmer gently for about 10-20 mins or until heated through.

*For a veggie version use "no chicken" broth and omit the chicken.