Almost every winter I get on this soup kick where all I want is soups. They’re so simple and comforting, and an easy way to flood your body with nutrients. This year I figured I’d get started early to have a few favourites up my sleeve for when the winter truly sets in. I love how easy they are to reheat the next day and how well they freeze. I’m all over “reheat + repeat” dinners at the moment, especially with two young children and a husband who travels a lot for work. There’s nothing like making a big pot of soup that saves you time making dinner for the next couple of nights. And on the note of minimising time spent in the kitchen, one of the best things about this soup is that it also doubles perfectly as a base for curries. Simply add chopped vegetables of your choice, meat and/or legumes, and some extra herbs + spices, and you’ve got a beautiful and super nutritious curry made from scratch.
Local green markets are bursting with all varieties and sizes of squash and pumpkins at the moment, so I figured I’d start off with a seasonal favourite. Since I tend to get a little bored with the sweetness of regular butternut squash soups I added Thai red curry paste and chilli to spice up the flavours, and the result was fantastic.
Nutritionally butternut squash is loaded with antioxidant carotenoids that protect our body cells from damaging free radicals. It is particularly rich in two other powerful antioxidants known as zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which are known to protect our vision from damaging UV + blue light radiation. Basically, the more zeaxanthin and lutein you have in your diet – the lower your chances of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, leading to blindness later in life. Aside from promoting healthy vision, carotenoids are also amazing for our skin cells, making this soup great skin food! In fact, carotenoids have shown to improve the skin’s overall glow, which is totally appropriate for winter!
As for other nutrients, squash has high levels of vitamin A + C, as well as some vitamin E, almost all of the B vitamins and important minerals, including magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc. Despite its subtle and buttery flavour, it is also an amazing source of dietary fibre, with 6 gm fibre per cup of steamed squash, making it very satisfying and great for digestive health.
This soup is suitable for those who are gluten and dairy free as well as those following a vegan or paleo diet.
|Thai Butternut Squash Soup|| |
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 500 gm butternut squash, chopped
- 100 gm carrots, chopped (approx. 2 medium carrots)
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 1-2 tsp Thai red chilli paste (alternatively you can use 1-2 tsp chilli powder/flakes instead)
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp coriander seeds, ground
- ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Melt coconut oil in a saucepan and sauté garlic and onion for a few minutes until the onions become translucent.
- Add the butternut squash, carrots, vegetable stock, bay leaf, thyme, red curry paste and coriander seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and let it simmer until the vegetables are soft.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, take out the bay leaf and add the coconut milk. Pour the soup into your blender and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until completely smooth and creamy.
- Return the soup to the saucepan and warm it over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, pour the soup into bowls and garnish with chilli flakes and pumpkin seeds (optional)
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!