Silence is Golden so is Golden Butternut Squash Soup with Besar from 'World Spice at Home'

From dessert to soup, we follow Spiced and Moist Carrot Cake with Kashmiri Garam Masala with soul warmer from World Spice at Home : New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes (Sasquatch Books, September 2014) by Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne.

Golden Butternut Squash Soup with Besar

This is a delicious fall soup. We love the taste of the besar with coconut and squash. The ham hock adds a smoky, salty element and the pomegranate garnish gives a bright pop of flavor to the finish. Serve with flatbread or your favorite rustic bread.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter 1 leek, cleaned and cut into ¼-inch slices
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground besar
3 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup apple juice or cider
½ cup coconut milk (with some of the thick cream)
1 ham hock (optional)
1 bay leaf
½ cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup crème fraîche or coconut cream, for garnish
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Golden Butternut Squash Soup

In a 5½-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the leek and onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the ginger and besar; stir for 1 minute. Add the squash, chicken broth, and apple juice and bring to a slight boil. Stir in the coconut milk. Add the ham hock and bay leaf and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Transfer the ham hock to a bowl and allow to cool. Discard the bay leaf. Remove the soup from the heat and cool slightly. Puree most of the soup with an immersion blender or carefully process in batches in a blender.

After most of the soup is pureed, add the cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Pull the meat off the ham hock, chop it into small pieces, and return to the pot. Discard the bone.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of crème fraîche (if it's too thick to drizzle, thin it with a little water or broth) and garnish with 2 teaspoons pomegranate seeds.

(*(c)2014 By Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis Hearne. All rights reserved. Excerpted from World Spice at HomeNew Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by permission of Sasquatch Books. Photography by Charity Burggraaf)

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