I had leftover mashed squash from when I made a butternut squash/chard/bacon lasagna (which was sad because it tasted really healthy and it was too dry and sigh it's too depressing to post about it), so I looked through my bookmarked recipes to see what applications the squash would work in. This winter squash soup with curry and coconut milk sounded great, especially since it’s remarkably more chilly here than I remember/like.
I used S&B curry powder; it can be pretty strong, so less is more (you can always add later). Be wary of blooming the curry, however, as the flavor development infuses the house as well, if you know what I mean. I love the smell of curry as much as any self-proclaimed consumer of Indian food, but perhaps not for a couple days. I used red lentils, but wanted to undercook them slightly so them had some of their chew left. I had no broth, so I used water with a bit of bouillon. We were out of fish sauce (which is sad, because it can be used in so many things), so I tried to boost the umami with soy and Worcestershire. I added the squash at the end, since it was already cooked. I ended up adding more water, because the soup was getting very thick from all the lentils.
The final soup was a warm, sunset-hued meal that went down easily. It was spiced lightly with curry, while the soy, Worcestershire and chili blended in the background to create layers of flavor. The squash and maple lended a mild sweetness, the lentils thickening the soup and adding heft. The coconut milk wasn’t very apparent, so I’d suggest using full fat coconut milk, or adding yogurt or milk or cream to the soup if you use lowfat. I think toasted coconut on top would further heighten the coconut profile. On a non-coconut milk note, some fresh ginger could be interesting if you want to spice it up.
And this is going to sound weird, but if by chance you happen to have some dry butternut squash lasagna lying around that needs to be cocooned in a dairy free hot tub, it works great mixed with this.
Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk
adapted slightly from Coffee in the Woodshed
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T curry powder
1 cup lentils
14-oz full fat coconut milk
3 cups broth
1 T maple syrup
1 T fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 Kabocha or butternut squash (2 lbs), peeled, cooked and mashed
- Warm some oil in a large pot. Cook the onions until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and curry. Cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, coconut milk, broth, maple syrup, fish sauce and chili. Stir well. Simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Add squash and warm through. Taste for salt and sweetness, and adjust if necessary. Ladle into bowls, add a squeeze of lime to each, and serve hot.