Growing up in a Ghanaian household, my mom never fully adopted the American style of cooking. Sure we made the occasional spaghetti or meatloaf but most of the non-traditional meals we devoured were from French cookbooks my mom had used for years. I lived for my mom’s cooking, especially jollof rice and her okra stew. My mouth is watering as I write this. Fast forward post college and living in Brooklyn with a vegetarian roommate who managed to make non-meat entrees appetizing to my palette. From her I discovered the joys of squash.
I hadn’t really cooked with squash until I met my old roomie and since then have cooked a multitude of dishes that I keep in rotation. Butternut squash is one of my favorite squashes to eat. I use it in on skillet meals as my starch but the most frequent use is in soup. I’ve made my butternut squash soup all winter long but decided to put a Thai twist on it with some curry and coconut milk. We hosted a childhood friend of T’s, who happens to be vegetarian. I was making us a vegetarian pad thai so I figured why not have a curried soup as a starter. The soup was so tasty that I had to remake it again for dinner this past weekend.
CURRIED COCONUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP RECIPE
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp (12 g) curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 14-ounce (414 ml) can light coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the butternut squash on the pan and thinly coat inside with a light drizzle of olive oil. Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender, about 45 to 50 minutes.
- While squash is roasting, in a large soup pot, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Remove squash from oven and let sit until cool to touch. Scoop the butternut squash flesh into a blender, I use a Ninja blender, and discard the skin.
- Transfer the cooked shallot and garlic to your blender. Add maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Pour in 2 cups vegetable broth, and blend on medium until smooth. Add 2 more cups of broth until you reach the desired consistency.
- Transfer blended soup to large soup pot on medium heat and add coconut milk, curry powder and cinnamon and stir. Let simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Use a spoon to drizzle coconut milk over each bowl and top the soup with toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.