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But the soup

Would you look at that! While trying, and failing, to start this post about squash soup, I accidentally ate an entire chocolate chip cookie dough ball from the Delancey walk-in!

Let’s get right to it.

I’ve been wanting to tell you about this soup for more than a week now, but a certain crazy-haired dancing maniac of a young person is getting a molar, or something, and has been waking up veeeerrrrrry early and then spending a large portion of the day crawl-running around the house/park/bathtub/Delancey, panting, grunting, and generally looking and acting a lot like Animal. After she goes to bed, I make myself a drink, warm up some soup, open a book, close the book, and sleep like a dead person.

But the soup! Right. A number of years ago, through this site, I got to know someone named Lisa.  She began as a reader and occasional commenter, and because she’s a very, very good writer, her comments always stood out. Over time, I started to feel like I knew her, and I hope the feeling is mutual.  We’ve never met in person, but we’ve kept in touch in various ways, and she now has her own site, which is where, a couple of weeks ago, I found this recipe for a winter squash soup with curry and coconut milk. I’m sure you already have a standby winter squash soup - I already had two - but this one grabbed me right away: not only does it involve squash, curry, and coconut milk, but it also calls for maple syrup, fish sauce, Sriracha, and lime.


I now have three standby winter squash soups.

Of course, the best part - at least in this particular stage of my life - is that I can prep it quickly, bang it all in a pot, cover it, and let it ride alone for half an hour while I recover from parenting Animal. And it only improves over subsequent meals, as soups do.

Happy weekend.

Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk
Adapted from Lisa Moussalli and Better Homes and Gardens

I’ve made this soup twice now, once with kabocha squash and once with butternut. I slightly preferred the flavor of the kabocha, but I liked the texture of the butternut soup. (I also appreciate the fact that butternuts are easier to peel. I would rather throw a kabocha out the window than peel it.) You could use any winter squash, really - though if yours isn’t especially sweet, you might want an additional tablespoon of sweetener. And for the record, you don’t have to use maple syrup; you could try regular sugar, or brown sugar. In any case, taste and adjust as needed before serving.

Oh, and I’ll bet this recipe would doubly nicely.

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium or large yellow onion, chopped
3 or 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 winter squash (about 2 pounds / 500 g), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups (475 ml) chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other Asian chile sauce
Juicy wedges of lime, for serving

Warm the oil in a Dutch oven (or other approximately 5-quart pot) over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squash, coconut milk, broth, maple syrup, fish sauce, and Sriracha, and stir well. Raise the heat to bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the soup until smooth and velvety. Taste for salt and sweetness, and adjust if necessary. (I don’t find that this soup needs any additional salt – it gets a lot from the fish sauce – but you may disagree.) Ladle the soup into big bowls, add a generous squeeze of lime to each, and serve hot.

Yield: about four servings


Blogger anna kay said...

Gorgeous! Will be making this tonight!

3:47 PM, November 01, 2013  
Blogger Little Hunting Creek said...

Who doesn't need another squash soup recipe? We will make this tomorrow.
Thank you!

3:57 PM, November 01, 2013  
Anonymous Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate said...

Great to hear from you Molly! I always appreciate when you take the time to give us a little update on life!

4:43 PM, November 01, 2013  
Blogger Corina Sahlin said...

Huh. Today, I spent three hours baking, scooping, and pureeing winter squash. (And I have three Animals running around me while I'm doing this. Phew.) I grew many pounds of winter squash in my garden this year, and aside from looking very cheerful, the squashes also taste awesome. Especially the cute little pie pumkins. I froze all the pureed stuff I made today (for pies and bread and some killer cake), but I was really hankering for some soup. I kind of make squash soup like you do, but the secret fish sauce ingredient? Brilliant!
Thank you! I shall make the soup tomorrow, if I'm not totally burnt out on cooking squash by then...

5:19 PM, November 01, 2013  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...

I'm glad you posted this. Saw the empty container on instagram. And thought, hot damn, we've been left in the cold on this recipe. Except a few hours later we weren't.

6:12 PM, November 01, 2013  
Anonymous DessertForTwo said...

Wow, what a great twist on a traditional winter squash soup! Thanks for sharing :) and thanks for sharing the baby photos, too. Love those :)

6:59 PM, November 01, 2013  
Blogger pinkbuttercream said...

My tactic for difficult to peel squash is to avoid the challenge all together. I simply roast the squash after cutting it in half, and scoop it out of it's peel. An extra step sure, but the soup comes together even quicker after the fact.

7:16 PM, November 01, 2013  
Anonymous Cristina said...

This soup makes me crave winter, I will be making it soon with some toast on the side.

9:46 PM, November 01, 2013  
Blogger Cathleen said...

Oh my goodness, I can't believe I have not yet made soup! this looks super fantastic!

10:12 PM, November 01, 2013  
Anonymous amy said...

"I would rather throw a kobocha out the window than peel it."

well said. You sound a bit tired and exhausted and I hope you're well. June is lovely as always. Thanks for posting (I like the short ones very much sometimes)

2:39 AM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous mariah said...

Add a twisted up celery root to this mix and you're smiling for sure. And as far as the little monster with molars popping through I understand... I have one myself with two little half teeth pushing their way through in the back and oh my...

3:46 AM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Autralians are obsessed with pumpkin soup. Everyone has their favorite pumpkin soup recipe - a friend used to make Thai red curry and coconut pumpkin soup which was a similar them to this, with some tofu croutons it became a complete meal.

4:12 AM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger Kezia said...

Winter squash makes so many good soups, and this recipe looks intriguing. Definitely one to try! There is always room for one more favourite soup recipe!

6:46 AM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger Unknown said...

Don't you ate it when you accidentally eat an entire chocolate bar, or cookie ball in your case? ;-)
Loved your post, as always Molly.

7:58 AM, November 02, 2013  
OpenID literalb.com said...

What timing! I was just going through different squash soup recipes to try this weekend. I was thrilled to see a post from you (always am), and even more thrilled at the topic - I'll have to try this one. Oh and June is precious!

9:04 AM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous wanderingeducators said...

I'm a squash scooper, as well (loathe peeling). I just made something like this yesterday. My daughter said it tastes like curry butter. :) YUM!

9:12 AM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger Lynn said...

do you have a favorite curry powder? thanks, i'm gonna make this weekend!

9:36 AM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Sharyn Dimmick said...

Like pinkbuttercream above I always roast my squashes to avoid difficulties in peeling them -- the roasted peels and the seeds you scoop out make a wonderful stock simmered in water and strained, bumping up the squash flavor of the soup. My go-to squash soup is milk-based, but I am eager to try this coconut version. Thanks.

10:23 AM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger jane said...

I just LOVE your writing and sentiments and of course, recipes!

11:50 AM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Elizabeth @seasonswithsoul said...

Like a couple of the other commenters, I too, have learned the hard way to NEVER attempt to cut and peel a raw winter squash. Roasting is the way to go. I'm excited to try this, as we love coconut milk around here. I have a standby butternut squash bisque recipe, but this will be a welcome change.

2:28 PM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

You know what? I am actually *always* looking for another squash soup recipe because I still haven't found the mother of all squash soup recipes. This looks hopeful, especially with the coconut and fish sauce. I look forward to trying it -- and checking out Lisa's blog.

4:16 PM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger Ileana said...

I'll have to try this! My go-to squash soup is the cider and vanilla one from your book. We love it over here.

5:22 PM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luv the kabocha comment. you caught me unprepared. My first time trying to split one, i had the chef's knife wedged into it and was banging it on the sidewalk... now, I too, buy smaller ones and bake them first...they are too good a flavor to give in. I made this tonight with butternut and my husband is loving the aroma. thanks.

5:33 PM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger Karen from CT said...

Yes-roast hard to peel squash first. So easy then to make the soup. This recipe sounds SO GOOD!!!!! Must make this tomorrow as I have a squash waiting on my counter as I write this. Thanks!

5:42 PM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Kate said...

The soup sounds amazing, as does that little animal of yours. My toddler is also very animal-like, but also like a teenager in many ways, strutting around, reminding (taunting) me not to burn the toast, complaining about dust bunnies on the stairs.

6:28 PM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Liz said...

I have one standby Butternut Squash soup from Gourmet (RIP) a while back. This fall I have made two attempts at a curry pumpkin soup, both of which left me wanting. This sounds like a lovely marriage of the two and perhaps will more successfully fulfill my craving for a curry squash soup. Thank you.

8:40 PM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made this yesterday (despite it being Spring here in Queensland - there are always lots of lovely local pumpkins all year round) and it was delicious. Even better today for lunch. Thank you for posting it.

9:25 PM, November 02, 2013  
Blogger Molly Angel said...

My mom taught me recently to microwave squash for a few minutes prior to peeling. Works a treat!

9:26 PM, November 02, 2013  
Anonymous Lukas said...

This might be controversial, but with roasted kabocha I don't peel it at all except for the really scabby bits. In my experience it softens completely, adds a little color contrast, and doesn't make any noticeable taste or texture difference in the finished dish.

7:48 AM, November 03, 2013  
Anonymous Kate, New York said...

New York has finally turned cold and soup is very much on my mind. That internal warmth of squash soup takes on a whole new dimension when you add curry or chili heat. I love the idea of using sriracha to get the extra kick.

9:54 AM, November 03, 2013  
Blogger lea said...

I made this last night and it was amazing! Thank you so much! I couldn't get my hands on curry powder or coconut milk and switched it with chili powder and added extra broth to water down the cream and it was still great!

2:54 PM, November 03, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The kabocha squash does not need to be peeled. Just cut it in half and deseed it. then go from their. This is one of the few ( or maybe only winter squash in which the skin can be eaten. I use this squash frequently

3:47 PM, November 03, 2013  
Blogger tara said...

I've been roasting squash whole lately, as per Molly H. Our fridge is full of the stuff, and I'm thinking would make for a head start on this soup. Thank you for a new standby.

3:50 AM, November 04, 2013  
OpenID deliberateobfuscation said...

It's a cold, rainy morning in the midwest. This looks like the perfect dish for the day!

4:08 AM, November 04, 2013  
Anonymous JackieD said...

Peeled, cubed and roasted a mother of a butternut last night with no clear idea of the use to put it towards. Other than a small serving with lunch today, I'll still have ~ 2#. Just a quick stop tonight for the coco milk and broth and dinner is set! Thanks!

5:25 AM, November 04, 2013  
Blogger Kristin Nicole said...

I live in Miami, so we do not have much of a winter. However, reading a few blogs from lovely ladies like yourself, I get emerged into the fall and winter feel. I want to enjoy all the great comfort foods like everyone else, and I have been looking for a squash soup to try. I will definitely have to try this out, it sounds absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing.

5:33 AM, November 04, 2013  
Blogger Margo said...

Oh! I made almost this identical soup last week! We loved it. It also had a "Thai gremolata" on top: minced peanuts, cilantro, and lime zest.

My go-to squash soup has tiny whiffs of nutmeg, cumin, and sage in it. It's pureed, and then sometimes I put cheese tortellini in it or float croutons on top.

5:45 AM, November 04, 2013  
Blogger lizzie said...

I was once forced to eat a small tub of Ben and Jerry s Cherry Garcia after my inground pool collapsed in front of my eyes..........I know how it goes.
Have just put this soup on (used Lyle s Golden Syrup instead of maple )

8:45 AM, November 04, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Mom,

Your job, and you get no choice, is to turn Animal into a human person. Takes about 30 years. Enjoy. IT ALL GOES PAST QUICKLY.

Ross Kane @ Warm Beach

10:35 AM, November 04, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this yesterday - I had been wondering what to do with the butternut squash that I had snagged at the market. (They are still quite rare here - at first, the cashier couldn't even find the price for it.)
I found the soup disappointing, though. There is probably fish sauce and fish sauce, and maybe the bottle I have just is not very good (I wouldn't know - I hardly ever use it except for cucumber salad) but I didn't like the flavor it added to the soup and would probably leave it out next time. (I checked with Lisa's version and her recipe says fish sauce or soy sauce - but soy sauce with curry powder?! Odd.)
So, better luck next time. And I love June's dance video!

1:01 PM, November 04, 2013  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all!

Thank you for the many wise words about peeling vs. roasting, not peeling at all, etc. You have probably saved me a future hand wound! THANK YOU.

And Annette, I'm so sorry to hear it! It's so weird - I actually don't even taste the fish sauce in this recipe. To me, it just adds salt and helps boost the flavors of the other ingredients. Maybe you have a more finely tuned palate than I do! In any case, if you do make the soup again, absolutely, just leave it out.

1:37 PM, November 04, 2013  
Blogger Julie said...

Thank you for this! It is EXACTLY what I am looking for to deal with the bounty of winter squash in my CSA box.

3:54 PM, November 05, 2013  
Anonymous Ninabi said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It is very, very good- I made it for dinner this evening, along with homemade pita bread.

3:33 PM, November 07, 2013  
Blogger Sally Kay said...

That sounds absolutely delicious! I adore your blog. I write a recipe blog about cooking on a boat sailing around the world. www.sallyinthegalley.net. I would love to hear what you think of it! Once again, I wish I had a real food processor on board.

5:13 AM, November 08, 2013  
Blogger Tina said...

I just made this tonight for dinner, and it is soooo good!! I had to refrain from eating half of it at once.

Thank you so much, and I really enjoy your blog.

7:40 PM, November 08, 2013  
Blogger Christine said...

Making yours today!!! House smells yummy already. I made this similar one last week and LOVED the Sambal Oelek. Might add a dollop to your recipe too!! http://www.shutterbean.com/2013/carrot-coconut-soup/

1:43 PM, November 12, 2013  
Blogger Jessica Hoekstra said...

This has nothing to do with squash soup. But it does have to do with pizza. I had the absolute pleasure of dining at Delancey last weekend while visiting a friend in Seattle (finally!). It was everything I dreamed and more. Thank you for making such fine pizza and, as always, for writing.

7:59 PM, November 12, 2013  
Anonymous jennifer said...

This is exactly what I was looking for, and did not even know it. Bonus, I have everything right here in the house, now to start peeling that squash...it may take all day. thank you.

6:46 AM, November 13, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

made this a loved it. would not change a thing.

7:12 AM, November 13, 2013  
Anonymous Caroline said...

This was absolutely delicious - highlight of our dinner party - and made even better because the squash and onion was homegrown. Our first time growing squash, and for recipes like this, we'll have to keep growing them!

6:18 PM, November 13, 2013  
Blogger Ellie Wigodsky said...

Another great Muppet! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50i5egBSUxs

8:12 PM, November 13, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is all the whining about dismantling the kabocha squash? I use my grandmother's cleaver (it's well over 50 years old) and a wooden mallet. done and done.

1:39 PM, November 14, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh also, made the soup. loveee itt. I can't eat butternut squash because it has a melony aftertaste for me. hence my kabocha advocacy.

1:41 PM, November 14, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great soup! It ended up tasting/feeling like 2-star heat, so I'll add less Sriracha next time. I used a huge 50-cent acorn squash, microwaved and then peeled...which still was a pain! Acorn squash makes for a pale, greenish soup, so I'll try a kabocha (or other more orange squash) next time. Still, the soup was velvety, and perfect alongside grilled chz on a cool Seattle evening.

8:52 PM, November 14, 2013  
Anonymous Valérie said...

I made this soup with a butternut (didn't peel it) and added some ginger. It was delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe !

7:46 AM, November 15, 2013  
Blogger Unknown said...

I feel a bit shy about this question as I consider myself a fairly good cook, but how do I know when curry powder is called for if it is "mild" or "hot?" Which one is right in this recipe?
Thank you!

10:43 AM, November 15, 2013  
Blogger HadleyEG said...

Starting graduate applications to M.A. programs in French today, and making a variation (because I had already been planning a carrot ginger soup) of this soup tonight. Just seems like you should know these things!

11:32 AM, November 16, 2013  
Anonymous Kathleen said...

Hi Molly! After having this post up as a tab since you published, I finally made the soup tonight. Oh, how we loved it. The tinge of heat paired with the lime was such a nice change of pace from our typical winter squash soups. Thank you!

8:03 PM, November 19, 2013  
Anonymous lizykat said...

Made this soup tonight...LOVED IT!! forgot the squeeze of lime and it was still delicious... the syrup, fish sauce and Sriracha all perfectly worked... absolutely fabulous. thanks so much for sharing and the dance!

10:16 PM, November 20, 2013  
Blogger Make.Good said...

Have made this twice now. It's devine!

7:22 AM, November 22, 2013  
Blogger phyllis nobles said...

i cannot wait to make this! so warm & spicy after what Thanksgiving will be!

4:53 PM, November 27, 2013  
Anonymous Camille said...

I had the privilege of meeting Lisa (WoodshedCoffee) in person last spring in New York after an extended comment-based online friendship. She is a total gem, and her kid is really the cutest. It's funny because her writing captures me in much the same way as yours does, familiar, satisfying, casual and yet important. I do hope the two of you come face to face someday.

8:32 PM, December 07, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate to the problems you have in peeling winter squash. Perhaps the technique that works for celery root would work on squash also: scrub it well and cut it crosswise into slices no more than half an inch thick. Then run your sharp paring knife around the edge of each slice, neatly removing the rind. You now have squash (or celery root) cartwheels, to use as you wish.

5:19 PM, December 10, 2013  
Blogger M. Bloom said...

oh, my!! I made this soup last night omitting the fish sauce because I don't like it and the sriracha due to tiny folk with tender taste buds sitting around my table... oh my!! accompanied by samosas & garlic naan from trader joe's it was the best supper we've had in ages -- we were all in bliss. bought another squash and another can of coconut milk today so I can make this again next week!


2:21 PM, December 13, 2013  
Blogger renee baude said...

I just made butternut squash soup with curry and lentils--I will eat it tomorrow, because it is always better the next day. I have roasted and steamed my squash depending on how much time I have.

Great recipe! and just an fyi--kids loose teeth until they are about 12--I didn't know that and took my kid running to the dentist . . . luckily I looked like a loving mother and not a crazy lady!

Be Blessed.

6:17 PM, December 18, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe, I left out the fish sauce and Sriracha (didn't have any) but added a sweet potato and ginger from a similar recipe.. tons of compliments. Also baked the squash (acorn) and sweet potato first, so I didn't have to peel:)
My sister cooks squash ahead and has it in the fridge to use on demand.. good for baby food too..
Thanks again

7:46 PM, January 05, 2014  
Anonymous Karen White said...

This sounds delicious!

11:46 AM, May 08, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my go to squash soup. I love that most if the ingredients are kitchen staples. I use a red kuri squash and it is so fabulous. I don't like spicy but I would not omit the sriracha (or fish sauce- it adds salt and umami). It's such a small amount and really makes the flavor profile of this soup.

2:07 PM, September 19, 2014  
Blogger Janesathome said...

Ooh yum, so glad I found this recipe (and your blog!) yesterday. I had roasted a squash a few days ago and made the soup as per your recipe using some broth from my Thanksgiving turkey soup-in-the-making. Added a bit of ginger and the soup made a wonderful meal. Soooo good. Thank you!

9:03 AM, October 14, 2014  

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