September 26, 2010

Squash Soup, Lamb Curry and Pudding... Yum!

We did a fair bit of shopping - grocery and otherwise - yesterday morning, and as a result, we ended up having a pretty late lunch.  It was very good, though.

Today's lunch consisted of Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Cilantro, Malai Kofta (lamb and chili pepper meatballs in a spicy, creamy curry gravy), naan bread and, for dessert, another recipe from The Iowa Housewife (  A few days ago, she featured a recipe for Old Fashioned Coconut Pudding, and as soon as I saw that, I knew I wanted to make it.  As was, though, Juli made that while I was busy with the other two recipes.  She also ended up doing a lot of the work to get the soup finished.

The recipe for the butternut soup came from The Best Recipe Soups and Stews.  This cookbook, by the Cooks Illustrated editors, is out of print, appaerntly having been replaced by Cook's Illustrated Soups, Stews & Chilis.  I'm not sure how different the two books are, but I'd be surprised if they dropped the butternut squash soup recipes.  In any case, it is a fairly basic, yet uncommonly good, butternut squash soup with some curry and other Indian touches added.  Juli and I both give this recipe 5 stars.  It was incredibly good.  What really made the soup excellent was the yogurt sauce you can see in the picture below, just to the left of the bread.

The sauce is made of yogurt, chopped cilantro and lime juice.  After ladling out a bowl of soup, you drop in a dollop of the sauce, then use a fork to spread it in the soup without stirring it in, as shown in the picture below.  The result when one takes a spoonfull of soup with a bit of the sauce in it is a delicious contrast of the hot, rich, sweet soup and the cool tanginess of the yogurt sauce.  The soup would have been good without the sauce, but adding it transformed what would have been a good dish into a wonderful one.

The Malai Kofta is another recipe from Easy Indian Cookbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to Deliciously Easy Indian Food at Home, which I reviewed a couple days ago. (  I'm glad I finally got around to making this one, because it was very, very good, and because its spiciness made for a nice contrast with the relative sweetness of the butternut soup.

And Iowa Sue's Old Fashioned Coconut Pudding?  It's just plain excellent... creamy, smooth and tasty.  I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon over the top of mine.  It provided a great ending to the meal.  I highly recommend you check it out. 

The naan we made today was a frozen one we buy at Maria Grocery, the Indian market Juli mentioned in a post a few days ago.  They come come in packages of five, are quick to heat up in the oven and taste great.  Though I prefer to make my own when I have time, these frozen ones are a good alternative when we're pressed for time.

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