Friday, October 14, 2011

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe was an attempt to convince myself that squash is good.  I've never met a squash that I liked, but until last year, I had never met a sweet potato I liked either. 

I decided after discovering a love for spicy sweet potato fries, that the problem with most traditional American sweet potato and squash recipes is that we add sugar in some form and make them sweet.  (Think marshmallow on sweet potatoes, brown sugar and butter on squash.)  Sweet, as far as I'm concerned, does not belong on my dinner plate! 

I love curries so this recipe was a natural choice for me in my quest to like squash.  I adapted it just slightly to fit my taste preferences, omitting the sugar, increasing the curry paste, and adding some heat with cayenne.

So did I like it?  Yes!  Will I make it again?  Yes!  But probably with one more change.  I don't mind the flavor of the tofu, it really doesn't have much, but I wasn't a fan of the texture of the cubes.  I'd either puree it into the soup next time or break it into smaller crumbles. 

Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted slightly from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers: Fresh Ideas For The Weeknight Table

1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups vegetable broth
24 ounces cooked butternut squash
2 TBSP lime juice
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Cayenne pepper to taste

12 ounces firm tofu
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 tsp coconut oil

In a soup pot, whisk together the coconut milk, 1 tsp curry paste, salt, and broth.  Add squash, cover and bring to a simmer.  Puree with stick blender if needed. 
Meanwhile, prepare the tofu.  Cut tofu into small cubes and put in a bowl.  Toss with soy sauce and 1 tsp curry paste.  Heat coconut oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. 
Add tofu, lime juice, and spinach to the simmering soup.  Stir and cook just until the spinach wilts.  Add more salt and cayenne pepper to taste.