Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Have I mentioned how much I love soup?  I always lose weight when soup is a staple in my diet.  One of my chef professors talks about the physical and psychological benefits of eating soup when you are sick (deep breaths to sip the soup, the warmth of the broth to aid in decongestion, etc.). It’s pretty fascinating.

Client loves squash, so I’ve been roasting acorn and butternut squash and adding them in some main and side dishes.  Here’s a soup that looked intriguing, and it didn’t hurt that I had carrots and celery left from preparing Thanksgiving stuffing!

http://www.allyou.com/food/supercheap-meals/cheap-soup-recipes-0/thai-butternut-squash-soup-0914

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 small carrots, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 butternut squash (about 2 1/2 lb.), peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
Chopped cilantro, optional

Preparation

1. In a Dutch oven, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.

2. Add spices and thyme; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in squash, potatoes, broth and coconut milk; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until squash and potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Puree in batches in a blender; rewarm as needed. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

I made a few changes to the soup.  The only potatoes we have in the house are purple potatoes from the last farmer box, and I thought those might look kind of weird.  I completely forgot to pick up the Yukon golds during my 2 grocery runs this week (!), so I tripled the carrots to make up for it, adding them all during step 1.  I decreased the olive oil to a tablespoon and it was plenty for the veggie sweating.

I decreased the broth to 3 cups because my squash weight was a little under.  I didn’t want the soup to be too watery without enough squash to thicken it.

Speaking of which, I hate peeling and cubing squash.  It’s a huge pain.  So, as I often do, I roasted my squash before using it in this recipe. Here’s my process:  I cut off the long part first and cut it lengthwise.  I cut the bulby part lengthwise also, scoop out the seeds, and scrape away as much of the fibrous strings as possible.  I sprinkle the cut sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast at 400º-425º (cut sides up) until it’s easily pierced with a fork (25-35 minutes).  I then scoop out the squash and discard the skin.  I put the squash aside to add after the carrots were well on their way to being cooked through.  Since the squash was already tender, it didn’t need a lot of time in the broth.

I used an immersible blender to puree the soup.  It did turn out more watery than I wanted, but it cooled off a little it did thicken a bit.

20151206_150731-1

Verdict:  Delicious!  The flavor was sweet from the coconut milk but savory from the broth and all the seasonings.  I would definitely make this again, with the potatoes and a little more squash to make the broth thicker.

 

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