Thai Butternut Coconut Curry Soup

Looking for something light, healthy and delicious to get you through the heavy, often unhealthy, calorie-laden holiday food season? ……………..
……………… This soup is a wonderful solution! It’s silky smooth, creamy, loaded with flavor thanks to a nutritious cast of characters you’re gonna love!

And, if you shy away from butternut squash because it’s a pain in the neck to cut and peel, I’ve got a tiny little secret for you that makes the whole process so much easier. If you’re used to buying the expensive pre-cut, pre-peeled squash, you’re going to save a bunch of money with this trick.

This yummy soup is what I call one of The Cafe’s Little Black Dress Recipes; you know, the proverbial little black dress that’s the staple of any wardrobe. Dress it up, down, any which way!

What I mean is….. you can serve it plain in a lunch thermos ……………… super delicious! Serve it with a scoop of rice and a few toasted squash seeds …………… the perfect light lunch! Dress it up in lovely china bowls with a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of basil or curry oil …………… a dazzling first course for a fancy dinner party. I served it for a delicious meal-in-a-bowl topped with jasmine rice, sautéed lemon-pepper shrimp and a shower of tiny, diced red bell peppers and cilantro leaves.


Are you getting the picture? This, for sure, is a recipe you need in your culinary wardrobe!

Thai Butternut Coconut Curry Soup

Ingredients for roasted squash:
1 large butternut squash
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the soup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium large onions
2 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seed
1 tablespoon mild curry powder, (I really like Madras curry)
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped in 2-inch pieces
1 large butternut squash, roasted as directed
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce (available in the Asian section of most larger markets)
2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
20 ounces coconut milk, about 1½ cans
additional chicken broth as needed, for thinning
Suggested toppings:
cooked jasmine rice
cilantro leaves or other fresh herbs
creme fraiche
greek yogurt
basil oil
curry oil
sautéed shrimp
toasted butternut squash seeds (wash and dry seeds from squash. Place in a small pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Roast until beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes.)

Instructions for roasting the squash
1. Pre-heat oven to 400˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil and rub with one tablespoon olive oil.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise*, and scoop out seeds and flesh. (Save seeds if you want to roast them and use as a garnish.) Place squash halves, cut side down on prepared sheet pan. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes or until it feels super tender with a fork. Remove from oven and let sit on pan until cool enough to handle.

Instructions for the soup:
1. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a large soup or stock pot. Heat on medium high until hot. Add onions and celery and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, coriander and curry powder and cook for two minutes. Add broth and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes or until all veggies are very tender.

2. Add coconut milk and cook for another two minutes.

3. Puree with a stick blender, food processor or regular blender until smooth and silky. If using a food processor or regular blender allow soup to cool a bit before blending and blend in batches. Taste and season as needed with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. If soup is too thick add a bit more chicken broth. Serve hot with toppings as desired.

* ~ To make cutting and peeling a butternut squash easier place in microwave and cook on high for 1-2 minutes, depending on size. It won’t cook the squash, just soften it slightly, making it much easier to cut!

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