But the soup
Let’s get right to it.
I’ve been wanting to tell you about this soup for more than a week now, but a certain crazy-haired dancing maniac of a young person is getting a molar, or something, and has been waking up veeeerrrrrry early and then spending a large portion of the day crawl-running around the house/park/bathtub/Delancey, panting, grunting, and generally looking and acting a lot like Animal. After she goes to bed, I make myself a drink, warm up some soup, open a book, close the book, and sleep like a dead person.
But the soup! Right. A number of years ago, through this site, I got to know someone named Lisa. She began as a reader and occasional commenter, and because she’s a very, very good writer, her comments always stood out. Over time, I started to feel like I knew her, and I hope the feeling is mutual. We’ve never met in person, but we’ve kept in touch in various ways, and she now has her own site, which is where, a couple of weeks ago, I found this recipe for a winter squash soup with curry and coconut milk. I’m sure you already have a standby winter squash soup - I already had two - but this one grabbed me right away: not only does it involve squash, curry, and coconut milk, but it also calls for maple syrup, fish sauce, Sriracha, and lime.
I now have three standby winter squash soups.
Of course, the best part - at least in this particular stage of my life - is that I can prep it quickly, bang it all in a pot, cover it, and let it ride alone for half an hour while I recover from parenting Animal. And it only improves over subsequent meals, as soups do.
Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk
Adapted from Lisa Moussalli and Better Homes and Gardens
I’ve made this soup twice now, once with kabocha squash and once with butternut. I slightly preferred the flavor of the kabocha, but I liked the texture of the butternut soup. (I also appreciate the fact that butternuts are easier to peel. I would rather throw a kabocha out the window than peel it.) You could use any winter squash, really - though if yours isn’t especially sweet, you might want an additional tablespoon of sweetener. And for the record, you don’t have to use maple syrup; you could try regular sugar, or brown sugar. In any case, taste and adjust as needed before serving.
Oh, and I’ll bet this recipe would doubly nicely.
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium or large yellow onion, chopped
3 or 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 winter squash (about 2 pounds / 500 g), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups (475 ml) chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other Asian chile sauce
Juicy wedges of lime, for serving
Warm the oil in a Dutch oven (or other approximately 5-quart pot) over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squash, coconut milk, broth, maple syrup, fish sauce, and Sriracha, and stir well. Raise the heat to bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the soup until smooth and velvety. Taste for salt and sweetness, and adjust if necessary. (I don’t find that this soup needs any additional salt – it gets a lot from the fish sauce – but you may disagree.) Ladle the soup into big bowls, add a generous squeeze of lime to each, and serve hot.
Yield: about four servings