Heather

Hi.

I'm Heather, a Registered Dietitian from Vancouver, Canada. Welcome to my blog. I'm so excited to share my favourite recipes and chat about nutrition with you! 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

SERVES 6

 
curried butternut squash soup
 

Why I love this recipe:

Simple and delicious, this soup is really quick to prepare, has few ingredients but is big in flavour. I love the thai feel without needing too many "different" ingredients. The silken tofu adds some extra protein but gives a really creamy texture - don't be turned off by the tofu - you'll never know it's there (my boyfriend didn't! ;) ).

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium-large butternut squash
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can light coconut milk (I use trader Joe's)
  • 1 x 350g carton silken tofu (what is silken tofu? - Here's a post with more info)
  • 2 Tbsp Thai Kitchen red curry paste (or other red curry paste) - more if you like it hot, less if you don't
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot water (if desired, to consistency you like)
  • Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
  2. While oven is heating, carefully slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. It's important to use a good, sharp knife with a good weight to it for this. See below for a squash tip if you're having trouble cutting your squash, or see this post for more information on cutting squash.
  3. Scoop the seeds of the squash out of the middle with a spoon (it helps if it has a bit of a sharper or rougher edge). 
  4. Brush the inner face of each squash half with oil using a silicone basting brush.
  5. Place the halves upside-down (flesh-side down) on a stoneware baking pan and roast in the oven until the squash is soft and can be easily pierced through the skin with a fork. This should take about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
  6. When the squash is ready, remove it from the oven and scoop the inside of the squash into your blender while it's still hot. Add the coconut milk, tofu, curry paste, salt and pepper and blend on high until smooth. 
  7. If using immersion blender, place the above ingredients in a bowl and blend while hot. 
  8. Pour soup into bowls, garnish with pumpkin seeds if desired, and enjoy!

 

Option: I add pumpkin seeds for some crunch and an extra hit of protein and healthy fats. If you don't have pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts would be a great alternative addition. 


Tip: Softening and Cutting Squash

In this recipe, I simply halve the squash and then roast it. Some squashes are particularly tough and can be nearly impossible to slice in half, especially if you don't have a good knife. If this is the case, you can soften the squash in the microwave to make it easier to cut in half. 

Softening Squash: 

  1. Pierce squash several times in different places with a large knife. Think of it like piercing a potato before you bake it so it doesn't explode - no one wants an exploding squash in their microwave!
  2. Put the whole squash in the mircowave
  3. Microwave on high for 4-7 minutes, until squash begins to soften and becomes easier to cut. The time may vary for this depending on the size of your squash and the power of your microwave. If you're not sure when it's ready to go you can always pull it out and give slicing a test and pop the squash in for a little longer if needed
  4. Once the squash is softened slice it in half, brush with oil, and it's ready to roast!

If you want to slice or cube your squash prior to roasting, try one of these methods: 

Cutting and Cubing Squash (2 methods): 

1. Peel and Dice:

  1. Cut squash in half using a large knife (I like this one). It's important to always use a sharp, weighted knife when cutting squash to minimize your chances of chopping your fingers by accident!
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds and pulp from the middle of the squash - you should be left with the thick, firm flesh and peel. 
  3. Peel the tough skin of the squash off with a sharp peeler. I prefer to use a "Y" shaped peeler, but any kind should work. 
  4. Using your large knife cut the squash into 1" slices, width-wise (think about how you would slice a watermelon in the summer here). 
  5. Cut each slice at ~1" intervals to create cubes. (For this step you can use your large knife, but I prefer to use a knife like this one).

2. Dice and Peel (if you don't have a peeler this one's for you):

  1. Cut squash in half using a large knife (I like this one). It's important to always use a sharp, weighted knife when cutting squash to minimize your chances of chopping your fingers by accident!
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds and pulp from the middle of the squash - you should be left with the thick, firm flesh and peel. 
  3. Using your large knife cut the squash into 1" slices, width-wise (again, think about slicing a watermelon). 
  4. Cut each slice at ~1" intervals to create cubes.  (I prefer to use a smaller knife like this one).
  5. After cutting each cube carefully use your smaller flat-edged knife and slice the peel off the cubes. 

Voila! Lovely, cubed squash - ready to roast, freeze, or pop into your chili!

I decided to roast half of my squash as-is and make a half batch of soup. I sliced the other half of my squash and roasted it, then saved it to eat as a side dish with my other meals! Once the slices are roasted the peel of the squash will pull of easily with your fingers. 

If you don't have stone baking sheets like the ones in the picture above, it's best to line your baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil so the squash doesn't stick to the pan.


Nutrition Highlights: 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup Nutrition

Nutrition Info is based on 6 servings of about 1 cup each, using a 3-4 lb squash, with 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds for garnish on each.

Nutrition Highlights: 

  • This soup is higher in potassium than sodium - yay! (I only use 1/2 tsp salt when I'm making it, so if you use more yours will be higher in sodium). The balance of sodium and potassium helps to control your blood pressure. Sodium tends to increase blood pressure, while potassium tends to counteract this and can help control blood pressure in a good way.
  • Squash, like most orange veggies, is super high in Vitamin A! Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and also helps our cells grow and divide. Although it is possible to overdose on Vitamin A from animal sources and supplements, getting more than the recommended daily amount from plant sources, like orange veggies is generally safe. 
  • All the sugars in this recipe are straight from the squash, no need to add any!

For a balanced meal, serve this soup with a leafy green salad and a protein like fish or grilled tofu :)

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