Last week was a bit of a whirl wind...Lots of celebrations and comings and goings and dining out. It felt like I was hardly home, mostly because I wasn't. The jam-packed social calendar is fun, but also exhausting! I think I need a week to recover, and I for sure need to stay away from cake and pie and all things sweet for a bit. At least until Mother's Day dessert...which will involve something with salted caramel...but I tease. You'll just have to hang on for that one.
I did find time to make a pot of soup as the weekend was winding down. As much as I love dining out and trying new restaurants in the city, I kind of missed my own cooking. And it's been forever since there was a pot of something delicious simmering away on the stove. I sort of needed to reconnect with my kitchen, if that makes any sense, and ground myself again. Chopping and stirring always seems to do that.
With all of the hullabaloo (isn't that the best word?) the cupboards and fridge were fairly bare...just almond milk, juice, some oranges, a jar of salsa and butter. Always butter. Not even an egg, do you believe it? Imagine my surprise/joy when I found a forgotten butternut squash in the bottom of my cupboard, and a few almost withery carrots in the crisper. Onions were there, thankfully, and my jar of curry paste was practically full. Poking around in the freezer I found some lovely chicken stock I made from that amazing Roast Chicken Dinner a couple of weeks ago. Further investigation revealed a can of coconut milk tucked away in the cupboard. We all know that coconut milk is nectar of the gods. This soup was gonna rock!
Butternut squash has the prettiest colour of all the vegetables, don't you think? That soft orangey/peachy glow gets me every time I cut one open. Sneaking in the carrots didn't compromise the flavour either...because sometimes carrot soup can be a little too...carroty. Drizzling in some maple syrup and finishing the whole thing off with an infusion of lime juice really sends this soup to another level. An immersion blender is your best friend, but if you don't have one, pureeing in a blender will work fine too...just proceed with caution...you don't want this lovely colour splattered all over your kitchen.
I'm happy to report that the chives garnishing my soup came from one of my flowerbeds outside my back door. Feels perfectly awesome to be picking something green again...even if it is just the humble chive!
Curried Butternut Squash Soup With Coconut Milk
1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 heaping tbsp Indian curry paste, mild or hot (I like Patak's best)
1 L chicken stock (or veggie stock)
1 398 ml can coconut milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
In a large soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute a few minutes. Add the squash, and garlic (and a few carrots, chopped, if you like). Cook a couple more minutes. Add the curry paste and stir for about 2 more minutes. Add the stock, just to cover the veg. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash tender. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Put back on heat and add the coconut milk, maple syrup and lime juice. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings. If too thick, add more stock. Soup freezes very well, and is even better the next day.