Over the last few weeks, we have made good use of the old adage “out with the old, in with the new”. The house has been in a bit of a flurry as we have donated books, cleaned out closets and gotten rid of all those old puzzles that were missing pieces. We have also done quite a number on our pantry, putting all those unclaimed, misfit ingredients to use.
Talking with friends over the weekend, it sounds as though we aren’t alone in using the new year as an excuse for a bit of a pantry refresh. And all of us seem to end up working our way through many of the same ingredients. Beans, some more beans, a few random grains and some frozen chicken. In my case, I also ended up with 3 small cans of red curry paste, most likely from a recipe that never got off the ground.
One of the things that I absolutely love about soup is how forgiving and flexible it can be – perfect for using up whatever needs to be used. In this case, some red curry paste and one of the three butternut squashes taking up space on my counter. Whenever I make one of my whatever-is-around soups, it can go any number of directions. Sometimes, it’s just passable. Rarely terrible (but it does happen). And then there is the occasional soup that really works. Last night’s Curried Butternut Squash soup was one of those soups. Easy to make, so flavorful and I was able to finally use some of that red curry paste that had been sitting in my pantry for much too long.
1 2 1/2 – 3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1-2″ cubes
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 apple, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups veggie or chicken stock
3 teaspoons red curry paste
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 lime, cut into wedges
sea salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small saucepan.
- Add the squash to a large bowl. Combine with the melted coconut oil and a generous pinch of salt. Spread the squash out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the squash has softened and is starting to brown.
- Melt the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is melted, add the onion. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions have started to soften.
- Stir the apples into the pot and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the stock, curry paste, coconut milk and cooked squash to the pot. Bring to a boil before covering and lowering the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking for 10 minutes before removing from the heat.
- Puree the soup in a blender until you get a creamy consistency. You will most likely have to do this in batches to avoid overfilling the blender. Also, be sure to remove the cap in the lid of the blender and cover with a clean dish towel. This way, you avoid the steam causing the blender to explode. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt & pepper as needed.
- Serve each bowl with a sprinkle of coconut flakes on top and a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice.