Butternut squash soup is one of the easiest soups to master! Well, all winter squash soup for that matter, you just slice them in half, scoop out the seeds, roast, and purée with just about anything. My go-to is usually a bright and fresh apple butternut soup, but I had coconut on my brain and whipped up this rich Thai inspired soup. It’s got a hint of spice, perfectly complimented by loads of fresh ginger from The Good Life Farm – order some and stash it in the freezer, you won’t regret it!
One of the things I love about butternut squash soup is the laziness factor, and here’s a tip I picked up last year. After you remove the seeds from each half stuff the insides with aromatics, flip, and roast. The garlic, ginger, and chilies roast up to be soft and permeate the flesh of the squash with flavor, then when you scoop out the flesh just purée them right into the soup. (No mincing garlic, my least favorite kitchen chore!)
I say this soup is “Thai inspired” because it has some easy to work with and find ingredients tossed in, it’s not really traditional Thai. Really, this soup is all about the coconut so if you want to omit the spicy ingredients, you’ll still have a rich and satisfying soup. A scoop of curry paste really rounded things out, but I’d prefer a red curry paste next time. Green was what we had in the farm fridge, and honestly there’s no international market out near the farm! I tossed in a hot pepper at the last minute, because our crew worked as hard as they could to get all the peppers in before the first freeze. Our hot peppers have been unusually spicy this year, but I’ve found a pretty manageable way to use them. Slice in half and remove all of the seeds and white membranes. Then mince the pepper and use just one or half of one in a dish. This way it adds just a hint of spice, wear gloves if you need to! It does leave spice behind on your fingers.
The best tool for puréeing soups is an immersion blender, it’s an inexpensive tool that makes a great addition to any kitchen. (It’s great for puréeing butternut squash soup for any dish as well!) When all of the vegetables are ready take your time puréeing the soup together, and add the liquid a little bit at a time. The texture is key and you don’t want to end up with a soup that’s too thin. Reserve a bit of coconut milk, lime zest, and handful of dried coconut for garnish if you like your soup fancy!
Coconut Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium size butternut squash
1/2 cup apple cider or dry white wine
4 garlic cloves, peeled (or more if you like!)
1 inch ginger, cut into 4 slices (or more if you like!)
4 whole dried chilies
14 oz can coconut milk, 1/4 cup reserved for garnish
2 – 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
juice and zest from 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon curry paste
1 hot pepper
dried coconut for garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F
Slice each butternut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Score the flesh of the neck, and prick the skin with a fork all over. Stuff a garlic clove, slice of ginger, and dried chile in the cup of each squash half. Flip the squash skin side down onto an oiled or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until soft and collapsing.
Dice the onion. If using the pepper, slice in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Mince the pepper. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, sauté, stirring occasionally until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the wine or cider and simmer until reduced by half, turn off the heat.
Scoop the squash from the skin or peel the skin from the squash. Add the squash, curry paste, coconut milk, and 2 cups of the stock to the pot. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth and creamy. Add more stock if necessary to desired consistency.
Return the soup to the stove and bring to a simmer, simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the juice and zest from half a lime, then taste and adjust salt or lime if necessary.
Serve soup with a drizzle of coconut milk, dried coconut flakes, and a pinch of lime zest if desired.