A few years ago, I received one of the best Christmas gifts ever: an immersion blender. (Oh, boy. I am definitely getting older.) No longer did I have to transfer batches of boiling hot vegetables into a blender; no longer did I have to sully yet another pot or tool. Soon after that, I embarked on a winter of pureed soups – broccoli, butternut squash, even cauliflower and asparagus.
I particularly like the heartiness of butternut squash soup. I’ve made it with apples, with onions, with sour cream…but never with coconut milk, as the November issue of Cooking Light suggests. So, this past Saturday, when the Husband and I ran into a friend (the husband, actually, of the amazing chef who put together the Diwali feast) who was flying solo for the evening, we invited him to dinner and hoped the crockpot – and the coconut – would turn on some magic. I served this up with a cauliflower side, coming in a separate post.
Crockpot Coconut and Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (tip: I keep a fresh ginger root in the freezer and just grate it as I need. Nice and easy!)
- 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste (I used Sambal Oelek)
- 8 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (tip: buy the pre-diced at Trader Joe’s, if there’s one near you)
- 3-4 cups chicken (or veggie) stock
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
- cilantro (obviously!)
- Heat oil and butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and curry paste and cook about 8 minutes, until the onion is softened.
- Combine onion mixture, squash, stock, potato, brown sugar and salt and pepper in your crockpot. Cover and cook and low for 6-8 hours.
- With your immersion blender, blend the mixture together in the crockpot until smooth (alternatively, use a regular blender, working in batches). Stir in the lime juice and the coconut milk until the soup turns a nice light orange color. Top with cilantro and serve.
The Husband was very skeptical about the coconut milk, not being a coconut fan. But I’m here to say: it works! (And he and our guest both had seconds.) The creaminess of the butternut combined with the coconut milk definitely requires the kick of the pepper (although the curry definitely lends it some heat) and the acidity of the lime, but this is a squash soup for the rotation.