Sunday, February 13, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

I woke up Thursday  morning with a slight sore throat. My glands were tender to the touch, but I shook it off. "I haven't been sick for a long time," I thought to myself, "I'm sure I'll be fine." It was a beautiful day, the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining. I surely wasn't going to waste a day like this, as they are as rare as a snowman (in Seattle) this time of the year. I took Lola to a new park,  got some fresh air and ran some errands. After cozying up with my lov-ah for the evening to watch my shows, I began to feel worse. By the time my second show had finished I was in sweat pants, fuzzy socks, hoody up and swaddled in my fleecy, red blanket. My limbs were burning up, but I was shivering.  My eyes felt like they were soaking in a hot bath with a hint of cayenne and every time I went to swallow, my upper body shuttered from the pain. Ugggghh! How does this happen so fast?!? I gargled some salt water and moped off to bed, still swaddled in my blanket. Once I fell asleep, I slept for 10 hours. No luck, I woke up and was still sick but after a few days of green tea, green smoothies, some more salt water and even some fresh garlic...I am happy to say I'm starting to feel better. But since it was gloomy out, raining and I was still recuperating...I needed some soup. The catch was, I needed to make something from the ingredients around the house because I was not going out in my PJ's and I certainly was not changing out of them. Therefore, I came up with this scrumptious recipe. The rich flavors from the curry and coconut milk were comforting while the slight heat helped clear my sinuses.

  • About 2 lbs of butternut squash (I used fresh, pre-cubed from Costco)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 c onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1-2 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2-1 tsp Yellow curry powder (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 13-14 oz lite unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • Lime juice from 1/2 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Brown rice, cooked

Preheat the oven to 400 F. If you are using fresh squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the cut sides of the squash (or toss cubed squash) with oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast for approximately 45 minutes or until squash is very tender and almost has a creamy texture. Once the squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh away from the peels.

In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the curry paste and saute a few more minutes, careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the vegetable broth, coconut milk, yellow curry powder (if desired), Sriracha and salt. Simmer for 15-25 minutes. Remove from heat, add lime juice. Puree soup with hand mixer or in a blender (make sure to let the steam escape). I like to add some texture to my pureed soups, so I topped with a 1/2 c of brown rice and fresh cilantro.

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