{recipe} Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut and Red Curry (That Happens to Also Be Vegan and Gluten-Free)

I may be a meat-lover down to the (probably delicious) marrow in my bones, but living in San Francisco means I have vegan friends, of course. While this soup was created explicitly for them, it’s so good that your average starch-chowing carnivore will not feel as though they are missing out by eating it. The texture is silky and the flavors balanced with a light kick of curry and ginger. So whether you’re vegan and/or gluten-free, or not (like me!)–this is a great recipe to add to your repertoire.

butternut squash soup

One thing that totally sucks about most butternut squash recipes is that the first step is to peel the damn thing and then cut it up. Here’s the thing: that is just way too much work for soup. (Unless, of course, you live at Downton Abbey or something and have servants to do all of that for you.) Sure, you can buy pre-cubed, peeled chunks at the store, but they are pretty expensive and always seem weirdly dried out. Instead, give yourself a break and roast the squash halves in the oven; it caramelizes them and adds flavor, plus prevents you from having to do all that peeling and chopping.

RECIPE: Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut and Red Curry 
serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tblsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk (not light)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • salt to taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet or sheet pan with parchment paper and cooking spray or a little oil.
  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place 2 halves cut side down on the prepared pan. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool enough to handle easily.
  • When cool, scoop flesh out with a spoon into a soup pot. Add vegetable broth, curry paste, and a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat. Add ginger and coconut milk. Puree soup in batches in the blender. (It will be easier to puree at this stage because the coconut milk will cool it down a bit.)
  • Return pureed soup to pan and bring to a simmer. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve immediately with more curry paste on the side or as a garnish.
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