Get ready folks, we are about to embark on a culinary whirlwind. I am feeling both guilty and inspired and you, dear readers, are going to be the beneficiaries. Why am I feeling guilty? Because I am a cheater. I made an unbelievable, from scratch, authentic Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Braised in Red Wine) for New Year’s Eve dinner, and I was too hungry and distracted by visitors to take pictures of the finished product. Basically, I cheated you out of that marvelous recipe. But fear not, I promise to make it again one day.
In the meantime, I am feeling incredibly motivated to make some high-caliber deliciousness this week. The freezing weather (it snowed this morning!) is making me crave homey, gooey, hearty goodness. Lest I throw all healthy habits to the wind, I will try to balance my love of all things cheesey with more calorie-conscious recipes, you know, for those of you who make New Years resolutions and all. I used to do that too… sigh.
To start the year off on the right foot, here’s a recipe that’s both creamy and healthy. Sweet and savory butternut squash is roasted until it’s tender and caramelized. Combined with coconut milk for luscious smoothness and Thai red curry paste for a little kick, this soup is the perfect foil for winter’s frigid temperatures… and post-holiday waistlines.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients:4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
3-4 tsp. Thai red curry paste
14 oz can coconut milk, light or regular
1 1/2 cups water or broth (or more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional garnishes: sour cream, plain yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a large baking sheet, combine butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fork-tender and caramelized. Stir once, about halfway through roasting.
While squash is roasting, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pot. Add shallots and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add curry paste, coconut milk, and water to shallots. Stir to combine. Addroasted squash and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. (You can skip this step if you are in a hurry. The point is just to let the flavors combine.)
Transfer soup to a blender (or use a hand blender) and puree. Return soup to pot and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add extra broth or water and heat through. Adjust seasoning again if necessary.
Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt and some crunchy seeds, if desired.