Here in Texas, this fall has had surprisingly good weather. We don’t typically get a fall, at least not a real one. It’s usually either summer, unbearable summer, or winter… with a dash of fall and spring. I think fall being more than 3 weeks, has been almost troublesome to most Texans. “Why is the weather so nice?” we ask each other. “What’s the catch? Should we question this?” This year has us all puzzled. Of course, we are thriving in it!
The minute the temperature hits 70 degrees, I’m in sweatpants and making soup. It’s a time to dance around the kitchen signing Christmas carols before Thanksgiving even peaks its’ head out. Such a lovely season! Why isn’t Christmas year around?
In the garden, I tend to grow squash on accident. This year I accidentally grew over 40. Hey, when I win, I win. I go big or they don’t exist. Sink or swim kind of garden. But, by accident I mean pretty much an accident. See, when I cut up vegetables, instead of throwing out the root of the onion or the seeds of the squash, I throw it into my compost in the garden. Therefore, sometimes I have strange plants growing in strange places every year. It’s kinda exciting for Kevin and I to go out there and guess what mysteriously popped up this year. It’s a fun little game we play.
So I have decided to share my families favorite soup. It can take a little work on the front side, but well worth it. It’s cheap, it saves well into the next day, and it takes you to a cozy fall feeling in a heartbeat.
First off, take your squash and depending on size, cook for 2-5 minutes in the microwave. It will be hot to the touch so be careful (said the nurse)! This is to help peeling become a breeze.
I wouldn’t recommend peeling with a peeler, rather USE your KNIFE. A paring knife will work but may take more time. I prefer a boning knife or a chef’s knife. The boning knife is great at working with the curves of the squash.
Now, cut the ends off so you can stand this guy up on the cutting board. You’re gonna tell this squarsh who’s boss!
If you’re like me and have a misshapen squarsh, cut the smaller size then the wider side separately.
Cut this guy in half and spoon out its seeds. Put in your compost or chicken scratch.
Say “HI” to Kate and Teddy. They may need to be reminded this is not a cantaloupe, it’s a squarsh! Aren’t they cute?! Good helpers.
Get it chopped up into chunks. (P.S. You can buy frozen bags of chopped squash at your local store if your not up for the chopping adventure)
Start your soup pot by warming it up with oil. When warm, add the coconut milk and Thai Red Curry paste. There is NOOOO skimping on the paste. This stuff is what makes this soup sing!
Add vegetable stock. You may need to add more in the end if soup is too thick.
Bring to a boil.
Add the chopped squarsh. Cover for at least 20 minutes or until a knife will run through it smoothly. This is a good time to start some rice if you plan on having it. A simple side salad is a good addition as well.
I prefer to use an immersion blender, it’s so clean and easy. If you don’t have one then you can use any blender. Just let it cool off so it doesn’t splash on you. Also, if you’re like me and try to save time by putting a blender in the bowl, put the beaters in deep and on low, WITH THE LID OVER while you blend. It may get messy and can be dangerous. Try a potato masher first, then blend.
Add fresh squeezed lime. Stir in chopped fresh spinach in the soup while still on the stove until wilted.
Add rice (I prefer to layer it at the bottom) and top with FETA (a must), lime zest, and cilantro. It really doesn’t need a meat but you could add chicken or pan-fried tofu.
I hope you love it just as much as we do. But if it’s too much, just take Rocky’s advice, “When there is work to do… just act dead.”
Spicy Thai Butternut Squash
- large saucepan/ soup pot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste (sometimes I dump the whole jar out)
- 13.6 fl oz (can) unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups vegtable broth
- 2 small butternut squash, chunks or up to 4lbs of squash
- 2 medium limes, and zest optional
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- crumbled feta cheese
- In a large soup pot on medium high heat, add olive oil. Whisk Thai curry paste to oil until aromatic. Add coconut milk, sugar, salt, and vegtable broth, mix well. Add chunks of squash and let the liquid come to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and cover for at least 20 minutes or until a knife runs through the squash easily.
- Use an immersion blender, or any blender (careful not to put hot soup in a regular blender, ouch) and blend until smooth. Squeeze in limes.
- While warm, add spinach to soup and stir until wilted.
- Top with feta (it's a must), cilantro, and zest of lime. Add meat if desired, but surprisingly not needed. I love to have white rice on the bottom of the soup, so you can have some with every bite, and a side salad. Croutons on top would be great too. Enjoy this cozy and hearty fall favorite!