As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes in our Saanich Organics Box we receive local, organic, seasonal, happy produce that I’m not too sure what to do with. It’s always an adventure!
Sometimes I appreciate that adventure, sometimes not so much. It’s a lot of hard work to research particular vegetables and figure out ways to prepare, cook and eat them. Not that I’m really complaining, I’m just owning part of the responsibility and the challenge of being involved with such a project. The upside, however, is that we are supporting local, sustainable farmers and the food choices we are making are really making a difference for the Earth and our health. Plus, once I do actually figure out what to do with things, I’m always impressed and amazed by the textures and flavors I discover. I like to think that’s due to my culinary genius – in reality, it’s probably a result of quality, whole foods that are natural and fresh.
These past couple of weeks we received some seriously beautiful winter squash. I’m not sure of the specific varieties but they were brilliant orange and yellow and quite sizable! Typically, I like to roast squash in the oven or pan fry it, dump a bunch of fresh sage in, and throw it in a buttery delicious pasta. With all the cold weather lately, however, I had a craving for something warm and soft and comforting… I wanted soup.
So, without being entirely sure about what varieties and specific flavors or textures I had in my crisper, I decided to throw a bunch of stuff together and see how they meshed. The results were delectable.
Curried Coconut Winter Squash Soup
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- 2 Medium Size Winter Squash
- 1 Medium to Large Onion, diced.
- 3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced.
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, finely chopped.
- 1 Lemon, for zest and juice.
- 1/4 C Fresh, Local Honey.
- 400ml Coconut Milk.
- 1 C Chicken Stock (If you have some homemade - that's much better. You can see how to do that here. I was out, and short on time, so I got the boxed stuff).
- 3-4 Tbsp Red Curry Powder.
- 1-3 Tsp Cayenne Powder (to preference).
- 1/2 Tsp Ground All-Spice.
- 1/4 C Butter.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- 1/2 C Toasted Almonds, slivered.
- 1/2 C Grana Padano, grated.
- Sprigs of Fresh Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley.
- First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Now, gather the squash, slice in half lengthwise with a very sharp knife (be careful!), and lay in a baking pan face up. Season well with salt & pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil. Pour about a cup or so of water in the bottom of the pan to help keep the squash moist. Place in the oven and let cook for about 40 minutes or until tender. Remove and let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauce-pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion. After about a minute, add the garlic, ginger, and lemon zest. Heat through for a couple minutes and then remove from the heat to let cool.
- Now your squash should be cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off the squash with a spoon/fork/hands (whatever is easiest for you).
- Throw the pulp in a food processor. Add the onion mixture. Dump in the rest of the ingredients (except the coconut milk and the honey). Pulse to combine and puree. Make sure you taste as you go along! You may need to add more salt, pepper, or seasonings to make the flavors really pounce!
- Once the taste and puree are perfect, throw them back in the pot from which you cooked the onions originally. Add the coconut milk and the honey. Heat over medium-low until thoroughly hot but not boiling. Taste. Add more seasoning if necessary.
- To plate, dish up a couple ladles of the soup and top with a Tbsp of the toasted almonds, a couple Tsp of the grana padano, and a couple sprigs of parsley.
She Eats https://sheeats.ca/