Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup

My mom’s birthday was this past Sunday, so, of course, I was compelled to make her a great dinner. I admit that sometimes I get a little carried away and make elaborate four-course meals that take hours to make, but this time, I decided to make simple comfort foods that my mom loves, albeit refined versions of them.

First up: a butternut squash soup with a Thai inflection. 

I’ve made regular butternut squash soup before, but I wanted something a little more special this time around. Some common additions are ginger or curry powder, but I decided to take it a little further by going completely Thai, but in a really subtle way. By adding just a tiny amount of Thai curry paste, the soup has a faint hint of its flavor and the heat kicks in at the end of each spoonful, but the soup doesn’t taste strongly of a Thai curry. The palm sugar highlights the natural sweetness of the squash, the ginger adds another dimension of flavor but it’s not at all overpowering, and the coconut milk adds a bit of richness and rounds out the flavors. And the last minute addition of lime juice brightens up the whole thing.

My mom, who definitely has a discerning palate, loved it. I was actually surprised at just how good it turned out – it was really simple to make but turned out to have a complex yet delicate flavor – a great start to my mom’s birthday dinner.


Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup
serves 6
vegan and gluten-free

1 large butternut squash (about 2 ½ pounds)
2 large shallots
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon palm sugar or dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon Thai yellow or red curry paste
5 cups water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice


Peel and seed the squash. Chop it into large pieces and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.

Peel and chop the shallots (you should have about ½ cup).

Add the canola oil to a large pot set over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, sugar, and curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the squash and water. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the squash is very tender, about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and salt and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Puree the soup – either use a hand blender to blend the soup in the pot, or puree the soup in batches in a blender. Add more salt if necessary.

Right before serving, stir in the lime juice. Serve warm.


Julie said...

Perfect! This sounds truly delicious.

And happy birthday to your mother.

malini said...

I the mom loved it.

ttfn300 said...

ooh, what a lucky mom :) hope she had a good day!

navinm said...

wow... that seems so yummy and not too difficult so someone like me could attempt to make it. Will def. have to try this recipe out!

skayc1 said...

I'm making a combination of pumpkin and butternut squash soup, using curry powder, coconut cream, and evaporated milk..(don't know where to find the red curry paste, or I would try that!)

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