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Squashed Soup with Coconut Milk

May 11, 2011

Butternut squash is a welcomed friend in our home.  When I first see it at farmers’ markets I know that is usually a sign that cool weather is approaching, but for some reason I don’t care.  This squash always puts a smile on my face.  It’s quite versatile, as it can easily be stewed, puréed into soup, mashed, roasted or even turned into pie filling.  Also, because of their durable outer skin, they store well past their season in a cool, dry environment. Seriously, how magical is this squash?

When Jonathan and I lived in Thailand, there were days when we just couldn’t take another bite of rice.  On those occasions,  we would visit a chain restaurant that served various soups and our favorite was a sweet, creamy pumpkin.  This recipe is an older one I created that is reminiscent of that sweet pumpkin soup.  Today I substituted with butternut squash, and added a little broth to make it a bit more savory.  I also dazzled it a bit with crunchy diced pieces of squashed that were seasoned and sautéed.  Butternut squash seeds are equally (if not more) delicious toasted and garnished on the soup.  Confession; I just needed the time to work on my knife skills for school.  Another confession; I am obsessed with eating butternut squash seeds and the skin.  Is that weird?  I don’t get questioned about the seeds, but usually about the skin.  Hmm… 

Either way, I can’t go without toasting the peeled outer layer and munching on it like chips as an appetizer.  Even peeled very thin, the skins aren’t usually all-the-way crisp, but have a firm, but slightly chewy bite.  I usually enjoy them unsalted, but season any way you like. You be the judge and let me know what you think.

Updated Note: Only make squash chips if using a squash directly purchased or given from a gardener.  Store bought squashes are generally coated with a wax that may cause digestive issues.

Squashed Soup with Coconut Milk
Serves 8-10

4 – 5 teaspoons oil
2 1/2 pounds skinned, seeded and chopped butternut squash
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
optional: 1 leek, sliced
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/4 teaspoon grated clove
2 cups broth or water
1 1/2 – 2 cups coconut milk
salt and pepper

Optional Toppings: 
plain yogurt
sautéed and seasoned butternut squash seeds or small dice

1: In a large pot, heat squash with oil and a pinch or two of salt on low heat. Cook until squash begins to soften. Stir frequently to keep squash from browning. Add garlic (and leek).  Cook until garlic becomes aromatic (and leek softens). Add turmeric and clove and continue to heat 1-2 minutes more.  Add broth and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.

2: Remove from heat.  Add coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.   Use an immersion blender (or carefully transfer to an upright blender) to purée or liquify squash mixture.  If using an upright blender, remember to cover the lid with a dishtowel to prevent the hot liquid from escaping. Serve hot or cooled.

Butternut Squash Chips
Serves 4

2 cups peeled butternut squash skin, cut to roughly the same size
2-3 teaspoons olive oil

1: Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
2: In a medium bowl, toss squash peels with olive oil and salt to taste.  Spread out on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes, until crisp.  (Timing will depend on thickness of peels.)  

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 8:53 pm

    These pictures are great! I can’t wait to be around to try a recipe or two. 😀 And help out of course.

  2. May 13, 2011 5:51 am

    This looks fantastic! Butternut squash (it’s butternut pumpkin here) is in season at the moment so I’ve been using it a lot. I can’t say I’ve ever eaten the skin though!

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