Sunday, September 12, 2010

Silky Coconut-Pumpkin (Butternut Squash) Soup

Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite things about fall.  It is so soothing and delicious.  Nothing makes me think fall more than butternut squash soup and apples.  And I guess traditional Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, but when I think of those dishes I think specifically about Thanksgiving rather than fall as a season.  Anyway, now that the weather has finally cooled down after a brutally hot summer (right now it is 61 degrees outside and raining - perfect soup weather) I was super excited to make a batch of butternut squash soup for dinner.  I had two butternut squash recipes bookmarked to try - this recipe from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia, and another recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary from the Lee Brothers Simple Southern Dinners.  Since we used the Lee Brothers cookbook all of last week (I think we made three recipes out of it) and since I have an infatuation with coconut milk and all things Asian, we had to make this recipe.  And honestly, how awesome does "Silky Coconut-Pumpkin Soup" sound?!

As high as my expectations were, this soup totally delivered.  It is warm and soothing - comfort food at its best.  Because of the coconut milk, cilantro, and fish sauce it is also a little exotic, which was totally fun.  I thought that the scallion garnish was a wonderful touch.  It gave the soup a little texture and some freshness so it lightened up the richness of the coconut milk and butternut squash.  I love fall.  Or I will love it once it actually arrives.  For now I guess I just love this soup.

Recipe after the jump!

Silky Coconut-Pumpkin (Butternut Squash) Soup
Adapted from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

3-4 shallots, unpeeled
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash (untrimmed)
1 can coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cup)
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce, or to taste
black pepper
3 scallions, whites and greens, thinly sliced

In a cast iron skillet, dry roast the shallots, turning occasionally until softened and blackened.  Peel, cut the shallots lengthwise in half.  Set aside.

Halve the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds with a spoon.  Dice into 1-inch cubes.

Place coconut milk, broth, squash, shallots and cilantro in a large Le Creuset and bring to a boil.  Add salt and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in fish sauce and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Taste and add more salt or fish sauce if necessary.  Remove from heat and allow soup to sit for an hour so the flavors can combine.  Using an immersion blender (or a food processor/blender), puree the soup until it is silky smooth.  When ready to serve, reheat the soup over medium heat.

Ladle soup into individual bowls.  Garnish generously with freshly ground black pepper and scallions.  Serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment