I’m probably not the first one to tell you that autumn is here. You might have heard it from the rustling leaves as they blew by you on the street corner. Or perhaps that shiver in your spine as you reached for your sweater last week. The cheers of football fans, the smell of wood smoke in the air and the bright colors on the trees all have their own ways of letting us know that the season has changed. Me? I know what’s up when I can grab butternut squash from my favorite vendor at the Pike Place Market and take it home to make a spicy soup to warm me up and fill my kitchen with seasonal smells.
Given its naturally sweet flavor, roasted butternut squash takes beautifully to all kinds of spiciness. That hot/sweet flavor, with the warmth of the dish is enhanced by the creaminess that the coconut milk adds. So take your time, light a fire and watch the leaves fall as you slurp this soup.
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
1 Butternut Squash
Olive oil (small amount)
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons Mae Ploy (or other similar) curry paste. These are available at most grocery stores, in red, green, yellow and panang. Red or panang will be best for this purpose.
Salt (to taste)
Roast the squash, cut in half vertically and rubbed with olive oil, for an hour in a 425 degree oven. Take it out, let it cool and remove the skin. Chunk it up (it should fall apart on its own) and toss it in the pot with enough water and/or stock to cover it by about two inches. You can always add more later, if need be. Start it simmering while you add the curry paste and coconut milk. Hit it with your immersion blender until it is completely smooth. Have a taste, add as much or as little salt as you’d like.