It’s fall and I’m just thrilled by all the wonderful pumpkins. That totally makes sense to me as the beautiful, round crops are currently in season. There are so many different shapes and colors, and so many ways to use them: as a fantastic fall decoration on the front porch, as the scary Jack O’Lantern (link to BOO! Post) for Halloween and, of course, in broad varieties in the kitchen.
My classic recipe is an Autumn Butternut Squash Soup with a slightly Asian touch. I used a butternut squash for this recipe (the name might indicate that), yet the outcome tastes just as good with other kinds of pumpkins like hokkaido or baby bear. No matter what kind I used over the last couple of years, I never can get enough of this soup. The fantastic thick and creamy texture works perfectly well with all the amazing spices. I prefer to eat the soup really hot and with a piece of freshly baked bread (link to bread! Post) to dip into. This is bright orange autumn heaven. The taste is just amazing and warms me up!
On cold days, after hours in the garden or a relaxed hike through the colorful woods, the soup is the perfect comfort food. At the same time it makes a great starter for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Prepare it upfront and just heat it up on the big day. As soon as you sprinkle the chopped pumpkin seeds over it, you’re done. This is simple, stress-free and therefore, really recommendable. I have done it this way several times and each time I was so glad that I have chosen this recipe.
One of the best things is, everyone will be just as thrilled as I am. Lean back and enjoy the praise for your cooking skills from your full and happy friends. After two days of shopping and cooking, you deserve this.
Autumn Butternut Squash Soup with an Asian Touch
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 apples (e.g. Fuji)
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 can coconut cream (14 fl oz)
- 18 fl oz water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp green curry paste
- 1 piece ginger
- 2 star anise
- 2 tsp oil + 3 tsp oil
- salt + pepper
- 1/2 tbsp paprika powder
- Step 1 First, halve the butternut, remove the seeds and set aside. I recommend wearing disposable gloves from now on. It is really handy since the butternut squash has a liquid that’ll leave a white film on your skin. That looks weird and your hands will be super dry and might feel funny. So, gloves on, remove the skin of the pumpkin with a peeler and dice it.
- Step 2 Peel and cut garlic, onion, ginger and apple. Don’t worry about the cutting size, we want to blend the soup in the end, anyway. Open the coconut cream with a can opener and place it next to the stove. Sauté the onions and the star anise with 2 tablespoons oil in a huge saucepan until they’re translucent and soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add curry paste and honey. Give both ingredients time to heat up in the oil. The flavors get a little kick and become more intense. Remove a bit of the top, greasy layer of the coconut cream and mix together with apple, garlic and ginger in the saucepan and sear vigorously. Add the pumpkin cubes, stir well and put the lid on the pot.
- Step 3 Now, you have to be brave. Give the mixture some time and DO NOT stir it. Our goal is to get those delicious golden brown spots, which will give the soup a wonderful taste. I love to constantly stir my food, to taste it, touch it, … Yet sometimes all it takes is time and you need to keep your little fingers to you. So, if you are as nervous as me, tell yourself: wait, leave your ingredients alone, it’s worth it!
- Step 4 Once you’ve been able to resist the constant desire to stir for about 5 minutes, you may pour the coconut cream and water in (for lazy ones who hate to wash the dishes: fill the coconut cream can twice with water). Stir everything with a wooden spoon and season with salt. Bring the soup to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Step 5 In the meantime, preheat the oven to 360 ° F. Place the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with the remaining oil and season (do not forget the paprika powder). Mix well and put it in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes. Once the seeds show a golden brown color, turn off the oven, open the door and let them cool down. Subsequently, chop the seeds with a big, heavy knife into fine crumbles.
- Step 6 Your soup is almost done. Take it off the heat and remove the star anise (I do not know what would happen if you leave it in the soup but the flavor will change considerably as this spice is very intense). Mix everything with a hand blender. If you want to be on the safe side as far as lumps, you can strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer. Usually, I do not do that because I’m too lazy and too hungry. For Christmas or a Friendsgiving Dinner it certainly is a nice little detail. Finally, you season the soup for the last time and serve it in a soup plate or bowl. Garnish with the roasted, chopped seeds, eat and feel the pleasant warmth of the soup in your stomach. Yes, autumn is just beautiful!
PS: If, contrary to expectation, you have leftovers, simply store them in the freezer. Freezing will not hurt the soup, neither in appearance nor in taste.