In my book, you can never have too much butternut squash (pumpkin) soup. No matter how many recipes I try, there's always room for one more.
This recipe is a little bit different. First off, there's a good amount of cilantro in it; and there's coconut milk. It was different enough for me to give it a try. The recipe called for 4 cups of squash. I decided to quarter the recipe and use 1 cup of squash. I wound up with 2 moderate servings.
I tasted the soup when it was done, and was disappointed in the bland taste. I increased the salt slightly, added more red curry paste and ginger and threw in some mild Indian curry as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the soup with my additions, but the cilantro and seasonings pretty much covered up the taste of the squash. There was some nice heat from the ginger and curries which lingered after eating the soup.
You're going to have to like cilantro and curry if you make this soup. I like both and liked the heat, but if you don't like spicy hot foods, then find another recipe or cut back on the curries. Or you could try one of my two faves, Pumpkin Soup, a James Beard recipe using curry, very simple, very easy; or Fantastic Fennel Pumpkin Soup, delicious without any cream or milk added. Both are rated 10 out of 10, and both are excellent recipes.
Prize Tested Recipes Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted 1/4 Recipe
Rating: 8 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: 2 tsp. Smart Balance buttery spread or olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. Thai red curry paste
1/2 tsp. mild Indian curry powder
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1 cup butternut squash puree (or 1 cup peeled, seeded cubes)
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fat-free half and half
1-1/2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro + additional for garnish
In 2-quart heavy pot, heat the SB over medium heat and saute the onion till transparent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the curries, ginger and salt. Stir in broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the squash puree, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes to blend flavors. (If you use cubes, you'll have to simmer the broth longer, until the squash is very tender, at least 25 minutes.)
If you have an immersion blender, now is the time to take it out and puree the soup. If you don't have one, be sure to put it on your Christmas list, because they are the best thing since sliced bread. In any event, puree the soup the easiest way you can.
Stir the coconut milk, half and half and cilantro into the pureed soup and heat, but do not boil. Serve with additional cilantro as garnish. Yield: 2 servings