I have a confession to make—I don’t like foods that are hot and spicy. However my husband LOVES that kind of food. A dilemma of hugh magnitude when you are the cook and there is only the two of you to cook for. Which one to please? Well, being the cook has its privileges, so I’m the one who gets the kind of food I like most of the time. Don’t get me wrong Mr. D. is always happy and complimentary of what I cook, but what I’m saying is that I don’t go out of my way to make a dish especially for his tastes when I know that I won’t like it.
This recipe, then, is a first. I made it especially for him. I had something else lined up for me to eat because I was prepared not to like it. Surprise!! I liked it. I had never cooked with red curry paste before and I expected it to be hot and spicy. However that was not the case and this soup turned out to be quite mild. You can certainly “turn up the heat” if that is your taste, by adding more curry paste, or a little Sriracha sauce. I also found that the squeeze of lime into your bowl is necessary for a little tang.
THAI BUTTERNUT SOUP
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced (grated) fresh ginger
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth ( or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 ( 12 oz.) packages frozen pureed butternut squash**
- 1 (14 oz.) can light coconut milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 lime cut into 8 wedges
** If you can’t find frozen pureed squash, you can make this soup with 4 cups cubed butternut squash. Just add some additional cooking time–about 10 minutes–in step 2. That is what I used to make the recipe.
1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add curry paste, garlic, and ginger; sauté 45 seconds, stirring constantly.
2. Add broth and next 5 ingredients ( through salt ); cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes,( or 15 minutes if using fresh squash) stirring frequently. Puree the soup mixture with an immersion blender, or in batches with a standard blender. Blend until smooth.
3. To serve: Ladle about a cup into each of 4 bowls; top with 2 tablespoons peanuts and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Oh, Yes! This was very good and we both liked it. Velvety smooth and creamy, but not too thick.
A further dilemma has developed/is developing: What’s a cook to do when the number of spices, condiments and sauces is increasing in number and space to store them is static? Since becoming more adventuresome in my cooking, a whole line of Asian-inspired ingredients is now trying to fit into my storage cabinet. If anyone has a solutions to this ever growing problem I’d like to hear about it. Please! : )
SOURCE; Cooking Light, March 2013