Remember the soup swap I did with my girlfriend a little over a week ago? Well this is was my creation for our swap and it is deeeelicious! I am lover Thai food and anything with the name red curry in it immediately grabs my eye. I wanted to make something I little different than I would make for Ron and Kellen to try out on my friends because Ron really doesn't like anything squash related (breaks my heart a little bit....). I opted to blend butternut squash to my soup base to provide a bit of natural sweetness and richness to the broth of the soup. I also wanted to use some of my favorite veggies to have in a curry to add a bit of green and body to my soup (zucchini is my all time favorite). As I said before I blended my soup before adding the chicken and veggies, but you certainly do not have to do this, but you will not have the same smooth texture achieved by blending the squash.
This soup is so wonderful and so full of flavor. The broth is so good that I just wanted to sit and drink it....and not share it. The flavors of the lemongrass and ginger are subtle, but balanced with the salt from the soy and fish sauce, sweetness from the coconut and squash and slight heat from the curry. I finished the soup with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime to brighten the entire bowl.
This recipe makes about 7 quarts because I was using it for a soup swap with 5 other people, but it can easily be halved or scaled down to your preferences.
How did my friends like the soup? They loved it of course! It is a bit unique and a great way to add variety to a soup rotation. Kellen and Ron also loved the soup. Kellen is a big fan of Thai flavors and gobbled leftovers for lunch. He exclaimed, as he usually does when eating soup, "Mama, I love a hot soup!". He is such a cutie pie.
If you are looking for a new soup to fit into your rotation give this a try- you will not be disappointed!
Tonight, I am hoping to grab an ice cream with friends and relax at home. I have also had a hankering to beat Ron at Mario Kart, and it may have to make an appearance as well....
1 Tbl olive or sesame oil
4 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1Tbl grated fresh ginger
1/2 Tbl lemongrass paste (I use Gourmet Garden)
4 1/2 Tbl Thai red curry paste
14 cups chicken broth
2 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl fish sauce
2 cans coconut milk
6 oz snow peas, trimmed
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cup sliced zucchini
3 cups fresh spinach
2 - 2 1/2 lb chicken cooked and shred
Salt, to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh lime wedges
Heat oil in a large soup kettle over medium heat. Saute butternut squash, onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Stir in lemon grass and curry paste. Cook an additional minute.
Add broth, soy sauce and fish sauce. Bring to a slow simmer and cook till squash is tender. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, a regular stand blender will work. Return blended soup to the pot and turn heat to medium. Stir in the coconut milk and allow soup to come to a slight simmer. Add chicken, peas, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach. Cook till veggies are tender and soup has thickened a bit. Season with salt if desired.
Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge.
Yields about 7 quarts.