You know when you’re looking through a bunch of recipes, and you find one that sounds really good, but the main ingredient won’t be in season for at least another 6+ months?
That’s what happened when I ran into this soup. I was perusing the the archives of the great 101 Cookbooks when Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup caught my eye. It was March. However, with Thai curries being among my absolute favorite dishes, this one did not slip my mind, even three seasons later.
Recently while looking for Thanksgiving recipe ideas on The Bitten Word, I ran across a similar recipe from Food & Wine. It was a bit more fussy, but I liked the sound of some of the additional ingredients. What I ended up doing was sort of combining the two, and I was happy with the results!
Initially, I was going to make this with pumpkin (omg, no way!), but the store I went to didn’t have any, yet they had red kuri squash. Having never had it before was my main reason for buying it. Use whatever you can find! I also toasted the seeds instead of throwing them away.
1 red kuri squash, small pumpkin, or any winter squash (about 2 lbs.)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters
a few tablespoons of oil or butter, softened
coarse salt (amount is up to you)
4 small slices of peeled fresh ginger
5 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (what I used – add more or less to taste)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon lime zest
juice from 1/2 lime
2 green onions (I just cut these into 1 inch pieces)
toasted squash seeds for topping, optional (toast at 375F on a single layer on a baking sheet for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until lightly browned)
If you’re strong, skip this step: pierce the skin of the squash several times with a fork, then microwave for about 5 minutes. Let sit on the counter until cool enough to handle. Now it will be a cinch to cut! :)
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut off the ends of the squash, then cut it in half. Scoop out seeds and pulp (save the seeds for toasting!). I then cut the squash into about 1/2 inch wide strips. Transfer the squash (skin side down) and onion to a rimmed baking sheet. If you’re using oil, drizzle it over the veggies; if you’re using butter, butter each of them. Sprinkle desired amount of salt all over, then bake for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, clean the seeds from the pulp if you’re using them.
When the veggies are roasted and cool enough to touch, remove the squash skins with a paring knife. In a large pot over medium heat, add a little oil or butter and saute the ginger with a teaspoon of the curry for a couple minutes. Add the coconut milk, squash, onion, water, lime zest and juice, and green onions. Taste and add curry a little at a time until you’re happy with the flavor. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Puree in a couple batches in a blender, then top with the toasted seeds, if desired.
I used olive oil, which I realized after the fact is probably not very Thai, not that this is an authentic recipe anyway. Maybe coconut or even vegetable oil would have been more appropriate (though both recipes say to use butter), but I think it tastes fine.
This soup is a welcome change to the typical flavors of fall!