I know what you’re thinking: Please, Dear Lord let this not be another butternut squash soup recipe. I’m sorry to say that it is, but but but but…please stay awake! Because I think you’ll be happy about this particular version: A curried butternut squash soup boosted with coconut milk.
The google search for “butternut squash soup with coconut milk” will yield thousands of pages. I know because I searched myself…about one minute after I ate a spoonful of the soup, purchased at the Brooklyn cafe downstairs from Joanna’s office, where I’ve been punching the clock lately. I ordered a small cup of it in a hurry and when the nice lady behind the counter told me to fork over nine dollars plus tax, I nearly fainted. Back in the office, when I relayed my sticker shock to Caroline — another staffer, and another Brooklynite — she gave me her best “you’ve-been-out-of-the-city-too-long” look while laughing at how much I was actually enjoying the soup, which had a depth and a richness I never knew had been missing. Is this a thing? I wanted to know. (Google: Yes, definitely.) Why haven’t you told me about it? How have I never thought to make butternut squash soup with coconut milk? (Google: I don’t know what to tell you.)
Fear not, I remedied my oversight within the week. I already had a back-pocket butternut squash soup recipe — which is pretty much straight from Ina Garten — so it was easy to riff on that one. I made a big batch of it last night for the three vegetarian eaters (supplemented with two roast drumsticks for Abby) and though I didn’t add up the lines on my supermarket receipt, I’m pretty sure I came out ahead.
Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
This freezes really well, too.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
pinch cayenne (to taste)
salt & pepper to taste
6 cups cubed butternut squash (from about 1 medium squash)
3 1/2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 cup coconut milk
lime wedges for serving
optional toppings: slivered almonds, cilantro, yogurt, croutons or baguette slices
Add coconut oil and olive oil to a medium soup pot set over medium-low heat. When coconut oil liquefies, turn heat to medium, and saute onions, curry powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook five minutes until onions are soft and spices are toasty.
Add squash and broth and bring to a boil. (The squash should just barely be submerged.) Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until squash is very well cooked, almost mushy. Remove from heat and, using an immersion blender, whirl the soup until it is pureed. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can do this in a regular blender, but just make sure the soup has cooled significantly.) It’s ok if the soup is a little thicker than you prefer. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk. If it’s still too thick, stir in water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency.
Serve hot with a squeeze of lime and suggested toppings.