Or should I say its 'Thai influenced' soup!
Marathi version of this soup can be found here.
Farmers markets and grocery stores are flooded with variety of winter squashes. They are pretty to look at and amazingly tasty! I usually buy couple of them keep on the counter for few days as decorative pieces and then cook and eat! I enjoy making soups and fall and winter are perfect seasons to enjoy warm soup and crusty breads. My lunches and dinners are usually start with soup. Recently I had this nice Thai style butternut squash soup in office cafe and I had to recreate it. I once tried it by making my own green curry paste and then using it in the soup as I couldn't find vegan green curry paste in my neighborhood oriental market. But that was too much spice for the fresh taste of squash. So I decided to tweak the recipe and not make the paste instead use the herbs I like. Voila! It resulted in a nice creamy soup that I can keep on slurping! Recipe is quite simple -
1 Small Butternut Squash (should yield 3-4 cups of pulp)
5-6" Thick Stalk of Lemon Grass
1-2 Kaffir Lime leaves
1 tbsp Chopped Ginger
1 tsp Oil
1 cup Light Coconut Milk
Black Pepper and Salt to taste
Peel and remove seeds from butternut squash.
Dice it in small cubes.
Bruise lemon grass and chop in 2" long pieces.
Heat oil in a dutch oven. Add chopped squash, Kaffir lime leaves, chopped ginger and lemon grass. Saute for 5-6 minutes in medium heat until squash turns partially translucent.
Now add about a cup of water, cover and let the squash cook completely.
Remove Kaffir leaves and lemon grass and purée it using hand blender
Add some water if the purée is very thick and start boiling it on low-medium heat. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Slowly add coconut milk and mix thoroughly. Just boil it on low heat.
Enjoy with any crusty bread or croutons.
- You can use any winter squash for this soup.
- I have used lime zest/ lime rind pieces instead of Kaffir lime leaves and that tastes good too.
- I liked this toned down version than Thai curry paste but you can always use that. Please check the labels before purchasing as it might not be vegan/vegetarian.