Friday, November 5, 2010

Thai Red Curry Squash Soup

I love pureed soups. They are one of my favorite things about cold weather. I make a batch of a pureed soup, have it for supper and then enjoy it for lunches for several days afterwards. My husband, unfortunately, doesn't see it that way. Pureed soups are appetizers for him.

We don't do appetizers in our house. If I make something, it's supper, not an appetizer. However, with this soup, Curtis got lucky. I knew this soup would be spicy, so I knew I couldn't give it to the kids for supper. Sigh. So, I made this and I made a main dish as well. All were happy. I enjoyed my pureed soup, Curtis enjoyed his appetizer and main course, and the kids enjoyed the main course.

An ingredient note: Red curry paste comes in a large quantity. I have a container of it stashed in the back of my fridge. The stuff is SPICY!! Most recipes call for 1 T of it at a time. If you buy it, find a container that you can reseal and store in the back of your fridge until you make this or another red curry recipe again.

This serves 6 people easily.

Thai Red Curry Squash Soup
adapted slightly from Food and Wine

2 T butter
1/2 lg onion, thinly sliced
2 T thinly sliced fresh ginger (or 2 t ginger spice)
1 T Thai red curry paste (see ingredient note above)
1 1/2 lbs orange winter squash, kabocha, kuri or buttercup is preferred, but butternut will do, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2" chunks
2 1/2 c water
1 (13.5-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 t lime zest (or 1 keifer lime leaf)
1/2 stalk of lemongrass (to get half, cut in half vertically), smashed and cut into 2" lengths (don't use long green ends, use the lighter colored bottom 1/4 - 1/3")
1 T sugar
1 T fresh lime juice
salt, to taste

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and sliced ginger, if using, and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Add the curry paste and ginger powder (if using) and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the squash and water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer until squash is soft, about 25 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime zest, and lemongrass, cover partially, and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Discard the lemongrass (and lime leaf, if using). Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender (or just use an immersion blender in the pot). Return to the pot and stir in the lime juice and sugar. Season as desired with salt.

Serve hot.

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