I’ve tried many butternut soups over the years. There’s a three-sisters version, a Mexican variety, those that pair winter squash and apples. But my favorite, the recipe I’m searching for every fall, is one that heightens the sweetness of the squash and pairs it with the Trinity of Thai cooking — fish sauce (made of anchovies and salt), lime and ginger.
The fact that this recipe also features mushrooms is an added bonus. Mushrooms are a perfect pairing with the squash — in taste and texture and as they tend to be in season the same time as the squash. Swirl in a little coconut milk and you’ve got a creamy, soul-warming dinner.
Makes 4 main course servings
- 2 medium butternut squash
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, divided
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 2-3 jalapenos, minced
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup baby portobellos or shiitakes, sliced
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp. brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (soy sauce can be substituted)
- 1-2 Tbsp. Thai basil, chives or cilantro, for garnish
- Roast your squash by heating oven to 375°F. Cut off both ends, then slice lengthwise and remove all seeds. Place face down on a lightly oiled baking tray. Cook until a fork easily punctures the skin, about 30-40 minutes.
- Cool, then scoop the squash into a food processor or blender. Puree with stock until smooth.
- Warm 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil in cast iron skillet. Sauté jalapeños, ginger, red pepper and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Remove from heat.
- Combine pureed squash, sautéed vegetables, coconut milk and final three ingredients in a large pot. Heat on low and stir until the flavors combine and the soup cooks down to your desired consistency — around 20 minutes.
- Top with Thai basil, chives or cilantro, whichever suits.