2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Granny Smith apples (1 lb total), peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 dried bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 pound shelled cooked crab
Thinly sliced red bell pepper (optional)
How to Make It
In a 5- to 6- quart pan over high heat, stir onions and celery in butter until limp, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and curry powder, and stir 1 minute longer.
Add squash, apples, broth, 4 cups water, ginger, bay leaf, cloves, and pepper. Stirring often, bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash mashes easily, 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove and discard bay leaf and cloves. In a blender or food processor, whirl squash mixture, a portion at a time, until smooth.
Pour purée through a fine strainer back into pan. Add sherry and stir over medium heat until just steaming, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove any bits of shell from crab.
Ladle soup into wide bowls. Mound equal portions of crab in the center of each bowl. Garnish with bell pepper, if desired. Add salt to taste.
This is an elegant sophisticated soup. I use red curry (only 1 T.) and leave off the crab unless its in season. I've made it for the holidays for the past 3 years and everyone loves it. Serve it in small portions because it is so rich. Great with crunchy french bread.