"Thanksgiving in Nantucket" was the title to the glossy spread in my November, 1993 Bon Appetit and it played right into the preppy fantasy I had been nurturing since reading The Preppy Handbook in seventh grade and The Great Gatsby in ninth. God help me.
The article focused on a multi-generational Nantucket family. The grandparents had sharp blue eyes, thick white hair, were nattily dressed in tweed, corduroy and pearls and had a direct gaze into the camera filled with certainty of their place in the world. The granddaughters sported long ginger hair, clear skin and big white smiles. The grey shingled house was filled with sunshine, fine fabrics and unquestionably good taste. The car grandpa used to fetch everyone at the train station (how romantic an arrival) was a vintage woody wagon. Dinner was served on grandma's heirloom blue-figured china. It looked perfect and, in retrospect, kind of terrifying. How could I possibly relax in such impeccable surroundings that were the opposite of my extended families tradition of potluck, foldout tables, plug-in turkey roasters and fryers, card games, political arguments and the highlight for me, marshmallow/Cool Whip/fruit salad (and from the bottom of my heart I thank you for this, Aunt Carol).
This soup was Nantucket grandpa's contribution to the meal. Probably a family recipe from high times in colonial India which we now know was probably not so good for Indians but this soup is delicious and I've been making it regularly ever since. It's good with a variety of squashes, like acorn and butternut or even carrots.
The whipped yogurt is a garnish I had recently at a local restaurant and it's incredible. You beat plain yogurt with heavy cream to get the lightness of whipped cream with the tang of yogurt and you can adjust to your taste. I used 2 parts yogurt to 1 part cream but you could certainly flip that ratio if you like a milder yogurt flavor.
Curried Squash Soup with Whipped Yogurt
adapted from 1993 Bon Appetit
1 large onion, chopped to medium dice
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock. Start with 3 cups and use more to thin, if necessary.
Chopped parsley, sliced almonds or chives for garnish
* roast at 400º for 25 minutes or until tender. Cool and scoop out flesh.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent (10-15 minutes). Add curry and saute until fragrant. Puree using one of the below methods then add salt and pepper to taste and top with whipped yogurt, garnish and a drizzle of olive or coconut oil, if you like.
Immersion blender: Put squash and broth into saucepan and puree.
Regular blender: Scrape onion mixture out of saucepan then put 1/3 of the squash, onions and broth into blender and puree then pour back into saucepan and repeat two more times.
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
Whip yogurt and cream together using hand or stand mixer until soft peaks form.