Image via Sarah Shatz, Food 52
For me, and perhaps for many, soup is the quintessential fall food. A bowl of seasonal vegetable(s), roasted, simmered or sautéed with herbs, pureed with a homemade stock that has perfumed the house when you made it yesterday and perhaps mixed with cream or topped with a bit of gooey melted cheese. Throw a crusty baguette in the oven for 10 minutes before you are ready to eat and watch the butter melt on the bread as you spread it on. Dip in and mmmmm, heaven.
Fall for me is often associated with root vegetables like parsnips, rutabega, celery bulbs and Jerusalem artichokes. And of course squash. This recipe for a roasted butternut squash coconut curry puree/soup intrigues me - the coconut and curry are more South Asia than traditional Thanksgiving but I do like to serve a few dishes that people might not be expecting. I have never served soup at Thanksgiving dinner before mainly because it's a hassle - it means I have to add bowls and spoons to the list of dishes and cutlery - and when this means I need to round up an extra 30 bowls and spoons, the idea quickly becomes a fleeting thought, relegated to the pile of recipes to come back to one day.
BUT, for the Thanksgiving dinner I am preparing as a three-course sit-down, it may be more feasible. My only concerns: Is soup a boring starter? If I am planning on a dessert that involves pumpkin in some form, would this soup/puree be overkill? If I used this as a puree instead of a soup, what could I set on top or along side it? Readers - I ask for your advice.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2.5 medium butternut squashes, cut in half and seeded
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce (tamari)
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons garam masala (preferably) or curry powder
- 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
- 2 cups low sodium/no sodium vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to you taste
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375F and lightly coat a large cookie sheet with olive oil.
- Sprinkle each half of butternut squash with salt and pepper and lay cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake for about an hour until fork tender. Let cool for a bit and peel skin off, I used an old grapefrut spoon but you could use a paring knife. Cut into chunks.
- While butternut squash is roasting you can get started on the soup. In a large heavy bottomed pot heat up coconut oil at medium heat. Add in onions, garlic, and ginger and saute till onion turns transluscent (about 8 min.). Add in red pepper, jalapeno, season with salt and pepper and cook for about another 10 minutes (stirring and taking care not to burn). I started with 1 tsp of salt and a few grindings of black pepper.
- Add in soy sauce, red curry paste, garam masala/curry powder and stir to coat. Add in coconut milk, veggie broth, and 2.5 of the roasted butternut squashes and stir to combine. I used my potato masher to further mash up the butternut squash.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Puree if desired in batches in blender. Return to pot and add extra broth depending on how thick/thin you want it to be and season to taste. When ready to serve, sprinkle the cilantro over it.