Sweet and Spicy Squash Soup

Unfortunately, my photo makes the soup look a little blue. It's not.

Butternut squash is a great fall staple, and it's becoming a regular in my house. This soup makes excellent use of its nutty sweetness by balancing the squash with silky coconut and a bright kick of ginger.

You're gonna need:

  • a big soup pot
  • a blender or some kind (preferably immersion/hand)
  • 1-1.5 butternut squash, peeled and in big chunks
  • 1 onion, diced/chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp minced ginger (you can add this as you go along, tasting until you've added what's right for you and your buds)
  • 1-2 dried chillies (again, evaluate your own interest in spice)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can coconut milk (light if you can get it, but I used the regular cooking kind)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp curry powder (optional)
  • freshly cracked black pepper 

To peel and dice your squash:

Use a heavy kitchen knife (I used the biggest one I had) to slice the top and bottom "caps" off the squash, creating a flat bottom to make it stand safely.

Use a potato peeler to skim the skin off the squash - try to take the layer of tough skin off without removing too much of the flesh.

Cut the squash lengthwise and widthwise, into four pieces. Scoop out the guts with a spoon. Cut the now cleaned and naked squash into large chunks.

To make the soup:

Sautée the onion, chillies, and ginger in the olive oil over medium heat until the mixture is fragrant and the onion becomes translucent.
Stir in the butternut squash and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add stock, curry, and coconut milk, mixing well. 
Cook until the squash has become tender.
Once the squash is softened, blend right in the pot if you are fortunate enough to own a hand blender.
Serve hot, seasoned with fresh black pepper.

Variation: if you like your soup thicker than thinner, try including a cauliflower as a thickener. Add cauliflower florets to the first mixture so it can absorb all the soup's great flavours.

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