I don’t know why kids are so opposed to eating soups with, you know, pieces. Maybe it’s just genetic. My mom’s magic solution to getting us kids to eat her (delicious) soups was to puree them in the blender before filling our bowls. This applied to any kind of soup–be it beef stew, lentil soup, Italian, clam chowder, or vegetable, it went in the blender. Honestly, the thought of eating pureed beef stew or vegetable & noodle soup is pretty repulsive to me now. I can’t bring myself to puree my own kids’ soups because it just sounds so–ugh. Yet I can’t deny that my offspring seem to favor smooth, uninterrupted bowls of soup.
Fortunately there is a way to compromise. Occasionally I serve a soup that is by nature silky-smooth and completely tantalizing that way. This butternut curry-coconut soup probably has the most depth and full-bodied flavor of any soup I have had. I’ve tried a number of butternut or pumpkin and curry soups, but none of them quite made the cut. I think it is the variety of vegetables that make this one stand out, particularly the addition of a sweet potato (i.e. yam).
I try to avoid making the whole “even people who don’t like–insert food–will love this” claim on my blog because I think that is just asking for trouble. I see that said a lot, I actually think it has the effect of making people want to prove to you that they don’t like said food and you can’t make them. (Because not liking a food makes you superior? Beats me!) But that said, if sweet potato isn’t your thing, I will comment that you would be hard-pressed to detect sweet potato in this at all. It doesn’t taste like sweet potato, and the sweet potato is truly indispensable in giving the soup its rich, sweet, enticing flavor. It’s like it fills in a gap in the overall taste of the soup that just can’t be filled any other way.
If you already have roasted squash in the freezer, this recipe comes together very quickly. If you don’t, this post for directions on how to roast a squash. If you don’t want to turn on your oven, you could use pre-cut squash from the store and add it along with the sweet potatoes.
Enjoy this creamy, fresh soup with rice, cilantro, shrimp, and/or roasted squash seeds as desired. And if you love soups made with winter squash, be sure to try another favorite, Roasted Winter Squash and Ham Bisque.
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine
- 2 TBS oil
- 2 medium-large onions, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 TBS mild curry powder
- 2 quarts (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 TBS brown sugar
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1 large butternut squash, roasted or peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 20 ounces coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cans)
- Additional chicken broth as desired
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, and curry powder and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the chicken broth, brown sugar, sweet potato, squash, sriracha, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until all of the veggies are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Use an immersion blender to process the soup until smooth, being careful not to splatter yourself with hot soup. Or transfer to the jar of a blender and process in batches, being careful to vent the steam.
Stir the coconut milk into the soup and cook just until heated through. If you want the soup thinner, add additional chicken broth.
Serve with rice, cilantro, shrimp and/or toasted squash seeds if desired.