Slow Cooker Thai Butternut Squash Soup

*Originally posted February 2, 2014
I’m obsessed with squash soup lately, and I love how this recipe changes it up a bit.  Plus, I’ve lost a few pounds from my marathon training this year that I didn’t want to lose (I get sympathy from no one), so I like how this recipe has more calories than the average butternut squash soup. But, I would use lite coconut milk as it states below.  I used the regular to add the calories. This recipe comes from I served it with my spring rolls and scallion pancakes.
2 lbs. peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 cup vegetable stock (vegetable broth in a can is fine)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic (minced garlic from a jar is fine)
1 tsp. minced ginger root (pureed ginger from a jar is fine)
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 can (14 oz.) light Thai Coconut Milk
2 T Thai Red Curry Paste
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (without added sugar)
1 T brown sugar
2 tsp. Fish Sauce
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
extra chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts for serving (optional)
Sriracha Rooster Sauce for serving (optional)Instructions:

Peel the butternut squash and cut into cubes if you’re starting with a whole squash.  Put the squash cubes and vegetable stock into the slow cooker, season squash generously with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the squash is soft enough to mash easily.  When it’s soft, use a food processor, blender, or Immersion Blender to puree the squash, being careful with the hot food.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add onion and saute until well-browned, about 8 minutes.  Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, and diced red bell pepper and saute about a minute more.  Then add the coconut milk, Thai Red Curry Paste, and peanut butter and heat just until the curry paste and peanut butter is melted into the coconut milk.  Add the sweetener and fish sauce.
Stir the coconut milk mixture into the pureed squash, turn slow cooker to low and cook for 1 hour more.  Stir in the chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice and cook about 15 minutes more.  Serve hot, garnished with more chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts if desired.  If you’d like more heat, shake in a little Sriracha Sauce.
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