Chef Dez's Slow Cooker Thai Squash Soup
Autumn is in the air and October means a large supply of winter squashes at the market right now! But what can you do with them? This flavourful, smooth soup will satisfy your craving for a warm, rustic dinner.
Slow Cooker Thai Squash Soup
Recipe of the Month - October 2011
I have created a Thai coconut squash soup that is made in the slow cooker – all you have to do when it is done is puree it; a hand-held submersion blender works great for this, but the soup can also be transferred to a food processor or blender. I have used a couple different kinds of squash for a more complex squash flavour. I am sure everyone is familiar with butternut squash, but how many of you have worked with a kabocha squash?
Kabocha is hard, has knobbly-looking skin, is shaped like a squatty pumpkin, and has a dull finished deep green skin with some celadon-to-white stripes and an intense yellow-orange colour on the inside. It has an exceptional naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut, and has a similar flavour and texture to a pumpkin and sweet potato combined. If you want the soup spicier, then puree more of the red Thai curry paste in at the end.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 – 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 – 4 tsp red Thai curry paste
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
5 cups of ½ inch cubed, peeled, seeded kabocha squash *
5 cups of ½ inch cubed, peeled, seeded butternut squash *
2 cups of Lepp’s homemade chicken stock
1 – 400ml can of coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
Salt & pepper to season
Optional garnish: Toasted sweet grated coconut, toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh cilantro
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste, sugar, salt, kabocha, butternut, chicken stock, and coconut milk (with the thick coconut cream on the surface of the canned milk) to a slow cooker. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Cook on low setting for 7 to 9 hours until the squash is tender.
- Puree with a hand submersion blender (or food processor, or blender) until the texture is very smooth. Stir in the fresh lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. If the consistency is too thick add some more chicken stock.
- Garnish each bowl and serve immediately.
Makes approximately 9 cups
* Butternut squash can be peeled with a vegetable peeler, but the kabocha will need a large heavy knife; carefully cut the bottom off to sit flat and then work around it with the knife taking off small bits of skin at a time. Remove all the green parts of the flesh. Then cut a big chunk off, scoop out the seeds, and slice into workable pieces.