Sunday, January 8, 2017

Curried coconut butternut squash soup

What is it about December that always knocks me on my ass with a horrible cold?! I swear I've had some of the worst colds of my life these past 3-4 years; probably a combination of work finally slowing down after a non-stop year + the crazy Chicago cold + eating less-than-healthy food around the holidays.

Stopped coughing long enough to get a pic of my new Christmas sweater!
This season was a 3+ week bout of bronchitis (started just before Christmas and still lingering), which led to a muscle injury around my ribs from my violent coughs (making each breath/cough unbearably painful).


So it's no surprise I've been craving soup, soup, and more soup. When I finally started feeling a little bit better last week the first thing I cooked in weeks was this butternut squash soup. Lightly hinted with curry and the perfect amount of coconut milkit was exactly what I needed.

Butternut squash soup with some coconut milk an za'atar
Another great thing about this soup is that it's really good both hot and cold (straight from the fridge)! It's a bit thicker when cold, but I really loved both versions. This is actually the second butternut squash soup I've made in the past few months, but this recipe is definitely my keeper.

Of course, other than colds, tis also the season of less-than-stellar photographs, with the sun setting before 5 pm and all. So I hope that doesn't deter you from whipping up a batch of this soup. Just imagine the picture below, but a bit more silky smooth... :) 

Not the soup I made this time, but close enough...
Or I could just use the prisma app and create artsy versions of all my photographs to entice you to make them. :)

Buen provecho,

Curried coconut butternut squash soup, adapted from NY Times

1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 TBSP oil (I like coconut oil or olive oil)
1 large yellow or sweet white onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 to 4 tsp curry powder
~1/8 tsp ground nutmeg and/or allspice (I used a mixture of both, just under 1/8 tsp)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (original recipe calls for veggie but I used chicken broth)
1 medium apple, any variety, peeled and diced
1 14-ounce can coconut milk, with a few TBSP reserved for serving (I used the full fat kind, though original recipe called for light version)
Salt and ground pepper to taste

  1. Bake squash. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with oil, and place cut-side down on a foil- or parchment-lined baking dish or baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife. Scoop out flesh and set aside. (I used 1 1/2 pounds of cooked butternut.)
  2. Prepare soup. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low to medium heat until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, and nutmeg/allspice to the pot and cook for ~1 minute, until fragrant and spices begin to form a dry, almost crusted layer the bottom of the pan.
  4. "Deglaze" the pan with some of your broth. (Adding a bit of the broth to the pot, use a wooden spoon to scrape all the dried bits from the bottom.) Once deglazed, add the rest of your broth, apple, and the squash to the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Puree the soup until smooth, using a blender, immersion blender, or food processor.
  6. Stir in the coconut milk and return the soup to a gentle simmer. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until well heated through. Season with salt and pepper. (If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed before serving.)
  7. To serve, ladle soup into each bowl, then top with a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk. (I garnished with a small sprinkling of za'atar; cilantro would be another great option had I had it on hand.


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