Thai Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup
The past two days have been nothing but stress! I live just outside of Washington DC and I have been here for the past 20+ years. Over the past two decades I have seen all kinds of weather phenomena come our way but somehow lately the frequency and the intensity of storms hitting the Metro area seem to be increasing at an alarming rate. Two or three years ago we were hit by a two-punch mammoth snowstorm, last summer we got a freak Direcho wind storm and yesterday we were hit by what was being termed by most news channels as the Frankenstorm Sandy! As soon as this last storm was predicted, the entire Metro area went into frenzy-mode – gas stations had lines of cars, grocery stores ran out of water, bread, milk and other essentials and hardware storms had a run on batteries, flashlights, and generators. Of course, being a foodie, my first thought went to what food items I need to stock up on; but then the last time I had stocked up on food, I had been forced to throw away two refrigerators full of supplies because we lost power within the first ten minutes of the storm. To make matters worse, my neighborhood is an old development where all the power lines are overhead and there are huge mature trees that always cause us to lose electricity. Most year round I love the trees and greenery but each time a freak storm hits, I start to fear them. With each storm, we lose huge trees (completely uprooted) as well as large tree limbs and each time we lose power.
Yesterday’s storm was predicted to be of gargantuan proportions and we were sure that we’d lose power as soon as it hit our area. So I did not buy any groceries and decided that somehow we had to manage with what we already had in the refrigerator and the pantry. Also, this is the first year when both my kids are at college and so I am trying to break my habit of buying the entire supermarket and instead buy supplies in small quantities.
We spent the whole day cooped up in our basement with our three dogs, expecting to lose power any minute but we were surprised by a “halloween miracle” – despite the storm being very strong and scary, we did NOT lose power! This morning when I woke up, I saw a lot of leaves strewn all over our street but somehow that was all the damage that we sustained. New York City and New Jersey were hit way worse than our area and I was so relieved that our area was spared. But the reports had predicted much worse for us and when I drove around today, the whole city looked like a ghost town – NOTHING was open (not even a MacDonald’s or a Starbucks!).
True to my resolve, I decided that I had to cook with whatever I had already available at home. So I looked in my pantry and found some cans and I looked in my refrigerator (which I had insisted on keeping scantily stocked) and I found a butternut squash. After a couple of minutes of internal brainstorming, I decided to experiment – to make Thai red curry flavored butternut squash soup. Yes, it was a slightly weird combination but I had very little to work with. After an hour of cutting, roasting, cooking I was shocked by how good the soup came out – I am surprised no one has ever thought of this combination before. I have to patent this recipe – it is that good! I am in heaven! It is the perfect spicy hot soup to have on a cold, rainy, gray and depressing day!
1. 1 butternut squash
2. 1 can of Thai red curry paste
3. 1 can of coconut milk
4. 1 medium onion
5. 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock (I couldn’t find any organic chicken stock that I usually have in my pantry, so I made some fresh vegetable stock with an onion, two celery stalks, a few ripe cherry tomatoes and a few carrots)
6. A few springs of Thai basil (which somehow survived Sandy’s wrath in my backyard) for garnish
7. 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil
8. Salt to taste
1. Heat the oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit.
2. Peel the butternut squash and dice the flesh into one inch squares.
3. Wrap a cookie sheet with heavy duty tin foil and place the cubes of squash on it.
4. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on the cubes (mix with both your hands so that the oil covers all the sides of the squash pieces) and place it in the oven for 30 minutes.
5. After 15 minutes have passed open the oven and turn the cubes over and place them back in the oven.
6. While the squash is roasting in the oven, peel and dice the onion as finely as you can.
7. When the squash is roasted, take it out of the oven and set it aside to cool it down a little. In a large pot heat, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over low heat and add the diced onions to the pot.
8. Cook the onions for about 5-7 minutes or until they are translucent. Stir them frequently or they burn easily
9. Open the can of red curry paste and add two level tablespoons of curry paste to the onions and stir.
10. Immediately after stirring the curry paste in the pot, add the roasted squash to the pot and stir again.
11. Add a cup of water and the can of coconut soup and salt to the squash and let it come to a boil.
12. Using a hand held blender, blend the squash to a soup like consistency.
13. Add the vegetable/chicken stock to the pot and let them cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
14. Serve the soup while it is piping hot with a sprig of fresh Thai basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.
Absolutely brilliant…because it is original! Very impressive!
Shabnam I find chopping a butternut squash really hard…is it okay to use the pre chopped one I have seen at Trader Joe’s?
Yes, Gurpriya I am sure the chopped one will be equally good in the soup – but often I find that packaged one in Trader Joe’s sits on the shelf for a long time (and you can’t tell from the outside if it is fresh or not) – there is chopped squash available at Giant which is usually fresh. Of course, it all depends on the day – sometimes TJ is better than Giant. But if and when you do try this soup, do send me feedback 🙂
Ok this is easy enough even for me. Will try it this weekend.
Poonam, why do you have to fret about cooking – you have a handy-dandy Badshah in your Rasoi 🙂
Shabnam – this is a recipe where you could also have added finely julienned kaffir lime leaves! (Since you were asking where to use them).
oh yes Shilpa – I should have added the Keffir Lime leaves – I clean forgot all about them in the freezer!!! Definitely the next time I make this – and since it came out so delicious, I am sure to make this again and again! Thanks for the idea and the lime leaves 🙂
I love printing out recipes and cooking from the pages. When bloggers don’t have a “print” button, I just pass it by since cutting and pasting between photos is too time consuming. I’d love to make this recipe but won’t for the same reason. If you could, for those of us that prefer print, do you think you could include a print button in the future? Thanks so much. This soup looks lovely and I’d really like to make it.
Hi Carol! I am so sorry that I don’t have a print button on my site. I will try to get it up as soon as I can get hold of my web-designer 🙂 And I hope you’ll visit my page again!
This sounds totally divine. It looks like velvet! Love it and I have 3 weetle butternuts waiting to be used! xoxo
Hi Ally!!! Believe me, I think this is one of the best things I have ever “invented”/cooked. It really seemed like I had some divine intervention when I made this. Now this is my all-time-favorite soup. Let me know what you think of it – xoxo
Shabnam, This recipe really brought my appetite back after a spell in hospital. We use Poitimaron squash from our garden here in France, they’re like pumpkin with no folds in the skin. Loved every spoonful and have sent link to friends and family in U.K. and a cousin in Pa. Thanks!
Hi Gareth, your comment totally made my day!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! I am so glad you liked this recipe (it is a staple with my family because my kids love it too!). I’ve never tried Poitimaron squash but I’ll try and look for it in the US. Thank you for sending me feedback. As you may know, this blog is not a source of income for me, but comments like yours totally make it worth my while to keep it going. Also, if you try any of my other recipes, do let me know how they worked out for you. Good luck on your recovery – I hope it wasn’t a long-term issue that sent you to the hospital. Best, Shabnam
I hope the second attempt comes out more to your liking – maybe reducing the curry concentrate quantity would help (the concentrate is VERY strong). I do hope you’ll like it – at my place it is always a hit with my family and friends. Also if it comes out too spicy, you can always add more butternut squash to dilute the spiciness and you can always freeze the left-over soup for another time. Let me know how it turned out this time.
Hi, I am so sorry that this soup didn’t work out for you – yes, you may need to temper the spice level to your own taste buds. Also the Thai curry pastes vary quite a bit in their level of spiciness. Even the same brand cans can have quite a bit variation in the level of spiciness, so I suggest you start with a tiny bit of paste and then increase it if you need to kick it up another notch. I hope the next time you have better luck with this recipe 🙂 Do keep me posted!!!