Friday, February 5, 2010

Thai Style Butternut Squash Soup

This one I've been anxious to try.  Very out of the box for me, but we like all of the ingredients, so how could it go wrong?  I thought it was delish and made a few modifications.  Next time I'll add some grilled chicken...with a some sort of Asian peanut marinade/sauce. 

Thai Style Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash
2 T vegetable oil
NOT 1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 T kosher salt
1 T sugar
3 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1-2 T lime juice
Nam pla (fish sauce)
Coarsely chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 400 degress.  Halve squash lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds and stringy gunk.  Line a baking sheet with foil, grease it with 1 T of the oil, and roast squash, cut sides down, until it is very soft, 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat for 2 minutes.  Do NOT add shallot.  Add garlic, ginger, lime zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne.  (For more authentic Thai ingredients, replace zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne with a teaspoon of red curry paste and 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves.) 

Stir briskly until it's sizzling and fragrant, 30 seconds or so.  Add salt, sugar, broth, and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer.  If the squash isn't done, cover broth mixture and turn off heat; otherwise, add squash (after scraping and scooping it out of the peel), and simmer for 15 minutes.  Puree soup with hand blender, or in batches in a blender.  Add 1 cup of water if soup seems too thick, then stir in lime juice and a dash or two of fish sauce.  Taste.  Should be a lively mix of sweet, tart, and salty--add more lime juice, salt, or sugar if needed.  Garnish with cilantro, if using, and serve.

*My husband felt like this soup was good, but needed some texture to it.  I agreed.  I made some brown rice which we scooped into the bowl first, then poured the soup over the rice and I topped ours with peanuts.  It was great.  Next time, will definitely add some grilled chicken to it.  Thought this one had a great flavor!!  Different from the normal soup routine!

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