Thai Curry Butternut Squash

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 30 MINS

COOK TIME | 30 MINS for soup 20 min for topping

Recipe Image

This GORGEOUS tangy soup is Thai-inspired. I use green curry paste instead of red curry because it adds the UMAMI I am looking for in a WARM and COMFORTING soup. The coconut milk and fish sauce add the perfect amount of savory that works well with the super sweet butternut squash. Plus the sprinkle of miang kham, an interesting mix of peanuts, coconut and chiles used in Thailand, add an explosion of tastes.

INGREDIENTS

* 3 tablespoons coconut oil or other neutral oil
* 2 medium shallots, diced
* 1 piece of fresh ginger, 1-2″, peeled and thinly sliced
* 1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 2-3″ pieces
* Kosher salt
* 4 lbs butternut squash, approximately 4 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into about 3/4-inch cubes.
* 21 14.5 oz cans full fat coconut milk
* 6 to 8 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, or to taste
* 3 tablespoons fish sauce
* 3 to 4 cups water, vegetable or chicken stock

Topping:

* ¾ cup raw peanuts
* ¾ cup unsweetened raw coconut flakes
* 2 tablespoons fish sauce
* 6-8 small dried red chiles, chopped
* 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
* 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass, you can find this in the asian isle of your local grocer or make your own.
* 1 teaspoon agave or sugar
* 10 lime leaves, thinly sliced, optional
* Small bunch Thai basil. Regular basil will work too.
* 2 limes, quartered, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. After a few minutes add shallots, ginger, lemongrass and a 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Reduce heat to low and cook the vegetables for 15-20 minutes or until tender and slightly browned. Be sure to stir a few times.
2. Add the squash cubes, coconut milk, curry paste, 3 tablespoons fish sauce and 3 cups water or stock and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Stir the soup to break up the curry paste. Cover the soup and simmer until the squash is fork tender, 25-30 minutes.

Make garnish while soup cooks:
1. In a medium bowl, mix the peanuts, coconut flakes, fish sauce, chiles, the minced lemongrass,1 Tbsp coconut oil, the agave or sugar and the lime leaves.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and spread the topping onto a baking sheet. Be sure to scatter the mixture evenly and in one layer.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, shake the mixture a couple times in the first half of cooking to toast evenly. Be sure not to over cook the topping. You will know it is ready to come out of the oven when the coconut is a golden brown. Pour the mixture into a glass bowl and set aside.
4. Chiffonade the basil leaves into ribbons and set aside.

Back to the soup:
3. Remove soup from heat. using a small strainer, remove the lemongrass and discard.
4. Puree the soup with a hand held blender or high powered blender until smooth about 15-20 seconds or until it reaches the desired consistency. If too thick add additional stock or water a little bit at a time.
5. If necessary add additional salt to taste.
6. Serve the soup alongside the bowl of coconut-peanut topping, a small plate with the basil leaves and lime wedges.

NOTES

Substitute frozen squash if you are running short on time.
Soup can be made in 3 days in advance.
This recipe is an adaptation from another recipe I found years ago but am not sure who to give credit too.

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