Have you ever gotten to the airport only to find that your pilot has gone missing? Apparently that happens. I finally got out of Kansas City and caught a red-eye from Chicago to London (hello from Heathrow!). I only wish I’d been smart enough to pack basic toiletries and a change of clothes in my carry on. Here’s to hoping that my luggage meets me in Tel Aviv eventually.
I love how cultures collide in airports. Right now, I’m listening to a guy speak French into his iPhone while wearing a shirt that says “Brooklyn” across the front. I just accepted German chocolate from a friendly Jordanian and earlier walked by a group of chic Europeans (maybe Italians?) drinking Stella before noon. Then there’s the pink-faced stranger of unknown origin who’s snoring loudly a few seats over. Snoring is a universal language, n’est-ce pas?
This soup is a blend of origins, too. I don’t think butternut grows in Thailand but the sweet squash pairs so nicely with Thai flavors. Curried butternut soup has been on my list of recipes to conquer for a while and I just couldn’t resist seasoning it with red Thai curry paste like I did for my sweet potato soup. I added some other Thai flavors to round it out, like cilantro and toasted coconut flakes. The soup is really creamy yet very light since it’s almost all butternut with just a swirl of coconut milk on top.
This soup isn’t so spicy that it won’t pair well with other foods. In fact, I think its colors and flavors would liven up a traditional Thanksgiving meal. This soup is part of Becky‘s #eatseasonal Thanksgiving potluck—check out Heidi’s roundup of our fresh Thanksgiving recipes over at Foodie Crush!
Le Creuset Cast Iron 3 1/2-Quart Round French Oven
Blendtec blender (makes outrageously creamy soups!)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 2 pound butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (up to ¼ teaspoon for spicier soup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk for drizzling on top
- ½ cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes**
- Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add squash, onion, garlic, curry paste, coriander, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes to skillet. Stir to combine.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, toast the coconut flakes in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden on the edges. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Transfer coconut flakes to a bowl to cool.
- Once the squash mixture is done cooking, taste and add a little more Thai red curry paste if it’s not quite flavorful enough for you. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer the contents pan to a blender (do not fill your blender past the maximum fill line!). Securely fasten the lid and use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from steam escaping from the top of the blender as you purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer puréed soup to a serving bowl and repeat with remaining batches.
- Stir the lime juice into the blended soup. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Use a spoon to drizzle coconut milk over each bowl, then lightly swirl the spoon through the topmost layer for a pretty design. Top the soup with toasted coconut flakes and a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my butternut chipotle chili and curried cauliflower soup.
*Where to buy Thai red curry paste: Look for it in the Asian section of the grocery store. I like Thai Kitchen brand.
**Where to buy coconut flakes: Look for them in the baking section at Whole Foods, health food stores or well-stocked grocery stores. The brands I see most often are "Let's Do Organic" (green package) and Bob's Red Mill.