Our Go-To Fall Recipe: Thai Red Curry Squash Soup

From Milk Street Vegetables by Christopher Kimball

 

Thai Red Curry Squash Soup

START TO FINISH: 1 HOUR (40 ACTIVE MINUTES)

SERVINGS: 4

We take a shortcut and reach for store-bought Thai red curry paste to make this silky, rich soup. Together with coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass, the paste gives the soup incredible body and fragrance, as well as a little heat. To add another level of flavor, we fry shallots in oil until crisp, then reserve them for garnish. Firm, dense kabocha squash is our first choice, but you can substitute delicata or butternut; note that if you’re using delicata squash, it does not need to be peeled.

 

1/2 cup grapeseed oil other neutral oil

3 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

14-ounce can coconut milk

 

1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed to the lower 6 inches, dry outer layers discarded, halved and bruised

1 tablespoon white OR packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus more grated zest, to serve

2 pounds kabocha OR butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks OR delicata squash, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro OR basil OR mint OR combination

 

1. In a large pot over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shallots, reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally at first but more often as they begin to color, until light golden brown, 7 to 11 minutes; if browning too quickly, reduce the heat slightly. Remove the pot from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the oil in the pot. Sprinkle the shallots with salt and set aside. (Note: Don’t overcook the shallots. Remove them from the oil when they’re lightly golden. As they cool, they continue to darken, by a shade or two, and also become crisp.)

2. To the oil remaining in the  pot, add the ginger and curry paste, Cook over medium, stirring often, until browned and fragrant, about 2  minutes. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, sugar and lime zest, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the squash and bring to a simmer over medium-high, then add 2 1/1 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return to a simmer, then cover, reduce to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the squash meets no resistance, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool uncovered for about 5 minutes, then remove and discard the lemon grass.

3. Using a blender and working in 2 or 3 batches to avoid overfilling the jar, puree the squash mixture until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add the lime juice and heat over medium, stirring, until heated through. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the fried shallots, cilantro and additional lime zest.

Optional garnish: Chopped roasted peanuts.


Excerpted from MILK STREET VEGETABLES by Christopher Kimball. Copyright © 2021. Available November 2021 from Voracious Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group.