Tuesday, October 28, 2008

fall happiness:



pretty leaves!

And, not to forget: soup!

butternut squash soup with warm spices and crispy onions

I happened to have a roasted butternut squash sitting in the fridge that I had stuck into the oven this weekend, when baking something else. I highly recommend you do that, it's really a no-brainer. I imagine acorn squash would work just as well and in a pinch canned butternut squash might do, too, if you think roasting your own is too much effort (but it really isn't).

For roasting, I just halved the butternut squash, scooped out the seeds and baked it, cut side down on a piece of aluminium foil on a baking sheet (to minimize clean up) until a fork slid in easily. 45 minutes maybe, but that obviously depends on the size and your oven. I then scooped out the flesh and stored it in a tupperware container.

Once you have the roasted squash, the soup takes literally 10 minute to prepare. The crispy onions were a stroke of genius. You can omit them, but you would be terribly, terribly mistaken.

flesh of 1 scooped out roasted butternut squash
1 Tbsp of butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
about 2 Tbsp of your favorite thai curry paste (how much exactly will depend on the curry paste you use and how spicy you like your soup--I used green, though red would probably be even better, at least colorwise)
1/2 can of coconut milk (I had some leftover in the freezer)

Heat butter in a large pot and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Throw in the garlic, the butternut squash, the coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Add the curry paste. If you want to be on the safe side, add 1 Tbsp first and then adjust later. Let it cook and bubble for a little bit, then blend until smooth.

Add more water until you like the consistency. Then add salt and more curry paste, to taste. Maybe a little lemon juice?

Serve, topping with the onions. I didn't have any cilantro on hand but imagine it would go well.

crispy onion topping

1 onion thinly sliced
1 Tbsp of butter
handful of raw cashew nuts

While the soup is bubbling, heat the butter in a small pan until very hot. Add onions and let the fry, stirring occasionally. You want them to get very brown, almost burned on the edges. Just before they are ready, throw in the handful of cashews. Swirl them around and let them get a little toasted but watch closely because the little suckers like to burn when you are not watching. Sprinkle with a little salt to taste.

Serves 3.

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