Easy Thai red curry butternut squash soup recipe
But, we've accumulated a lot of squash from our CSA this fall, and I saved a big butternut one for our beach rental last weekend with friends. I knew I would have limited kitchen tools and only the ingredients we brought with us, but I managed a very simple recipe using whole ingredients, even lots of local stuff from our CSA!
So many Thai curry dish recipes use storebought curry paste, which I have never had good experiences with. I can always taste some weird oil they use to keep it from going bad. I don't know what it is but it's just not as good as mixing the flavors yourself. Plus, I don't usually have it on hand so have to cobble something together!
Creative DIY curry paste-in-squash
But I got very inventive this time. Typically this squash soup is blended, but you add all the ingredients together in the pot together to cook the squash, then blend in the blender. So you have to have another pot going for the blended part while you transfer very hot chunky un-blended soup into the blender... it's just not a great system.
So this recipe is much easier because 1) you can make a simple version of curry paste yourself in the blender, and then 2) you can cook the squash beforehand and blend only the squash portion (not the steaming hot liquid portion too) in the blender. Way less volume that way.
Because I am all about making things easy. Especially while we were on vacation! So I ended up with not the most authentic Thai red curry (I don't usually have galangal and Kaffir lime leaves on hand), but a dang good one.
Easy Thai Red Curry Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil, butter, lard, or tallow
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Generous sprinkle salt
- 3 cups chicken or beef broth
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- Squash and curry paste mixture:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 shallots
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass (outer stalk pieces removed), chopped
- 2-4 red chilis, seeds removed
- 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger (or galangal if you have it)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- Optional: 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves (or use as garnish)
- 9 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 3 lbs)
I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but after making this for at least three winters now, I've got it down for an efficient, low-stress method that you can put on the stove while other things cook. And it's always delicious and impressive!
- Halve butternut squash, scoop out seeds, and bake with a little water on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, saute garlic in fat of choice with sprinkle of salt until soft.
- Add broth and coconut milk to soup pot and simmer on low while you prepare cooked squash/curry paste mixture.
- Add all of the curry paste ingredients (excluding the squash) to a blender and blend/chop. Mine didn't have enough liquid to make a paste on its own, but I was able to chop all the big pieces. (I imagine this works best with a super powerful, high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, but you could also try a food processor. (We have this basic Vitamix and love it, plus the smaller (48 ounce) container.))
- Scoop the squash out of the shells and add about 1/4 of to the blender at a time, blending with the curry paste mixture as you go. Once all of it is combined in the blender...
- Put squash/curry paste mixture into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let simmer for several minutes while you make a delicious salad or other side and main dish to go with!
Like most Thai flavors, I promise this soup is magically good! The flavors harmonize so well and it has the perfect amount of spiciness and creaminess. So great on a rainy night in the fall or winter. Try it with your next butternut squash!