From the Moosewood Favorites Cookbook-
Thai Butternut Squash Soup
A velvety soup, that colors your place setting with vibrant orange and bright green. This seasonal broth yields a vibrant as well— spicy, sweet, and tangy all at the same time.
Time: 55 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Thai curry paste, or more later to taste
1 butternut squash (about 21⁄2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped (6 cups)
3 cups water
one 14- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach, cut into chiffonade
sugar as needed
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
While the squash is cooking, zest and juice the lime. Add about a teaspoon of zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice to the pot. When the squash is tender, stir in half of the coconut milk. In a blender or food processor, purée the soup. Be careful, hot soup can erupt!
Return the puréed soup to the pot and reheat.
Taste for sweetness, spice, salt, and tang. Depending on the sweetness of your squash, a spoonful of sugar may bring the soup to life. Add more lime juice and/or curry paste to taste. Stir in the chiffonade of spinach and the cilantro, if using, and cook just until the spinach has wilted.
• Add 1 or 2 keiffir lime leaves to the pot while the squash is simmering. Remove and discard before puréeing.
• Substitute lemon zest and juice for the lime.
• Although butternut is the easiest winter squash to peel, other winter squashes can be used. Or, to save time, substitute three 12- ounce packages of frozen winter squash for the fresh, or use the precut fresh squash cubes that many supermarkets offer.
• Replace the squash with sweet potatoes.
SERVING AND MENU IDEAS
Serve the soup topped with chopped scallions and pan- fried tofu cubes, or cubed Thai Baked Tofu.
Finely chopped Thai basil would add a tasty compliment. Thai Noodle Salad would also make a delicious addition as a side dish, when coupled with this soup.