Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen

On a recent girls weekend to Traverse City, friends and I took part in the Harvest Stompede race and wine tour.

The race through the vineyard was killer, but the wine sampling and fall pairings that followed made the 30 minutes of torture we endured, almost worth while.

Our first stop on the tour offered a riesling paired with a creamy thai butternut squash soup. By this time it was pouring rain, so a warm, spicy, bowl of soup topped with little bits of toasted walnuts was total comfort food.I've modified and combined a couple of recipes trying to replicate that one, and came up with one I'd like to share with you.

I prefer to scoop out the seeds, roast the squash in the oven, then spoon the cooked squash into the soup once the other ingredients have been sautéed, but it's up to you. Also, I only used 2 tablespoons of curry paste, and my kids said that was enough for them and I found that was enough flavour for me too. 

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
½ cup full fat coconut milk for drizzling on top(I added the rest of the can to the remainder of the soup)
Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add squash, onion, garlic, curry paste, coriander, cumin, and salt to skillet. Stir to combine.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the squash mixture is done cooking, taste and add a little more Thai red curry paste if it's not quite flavorful enough for you. Use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth (or cool slightly and work in batches in blender).

Stir the lime juice into the blended soup. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Use a spoon to drizzle coconut milk over each bowl, then lightly swirl the spoon through the topmost layer for a pretty design, and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.