Coconut-Curry Pumpkin/Butternut Squash Soup
1 – 16 oz butternut squash puree (butternut squash boiled or roasted then pureed)
16 oz. chicken or veggie broth
2 tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or ginger minced
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
3 tsp. sweet curry powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice (or kaffir lime leaves)

4 tbs. sugar (optional)
kosher salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.      Wash pumpkin. Cut it into halves and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. Spray a baking pan with nonstick as well as the cut sides of the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin on the tray cut side down and cook for about 90 minutes, until flesh is fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh from the skin.

2.      Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Sweat the onions and garlic until onion is translucent. The difference between a sweat and a brown is the stove temperature. Sweating is a medium-low temp that gets your onions and garlic (aromatics) to give up their moisture and flavor easily. You do not brown the veggies when you sweat them. Browning takes a medium-high temperature.

3.      Add the curry powder, red pepper flakes and ginger and stir for half a minute to get the curry going. Add stock and lemon/lime juice (or kaffir lime leaves)  and heat to a boil. Add the pumpkin then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

4.      Use a stick blender to puree the soup. This type of pumpkin is very stringy, but it will blend easily. Add the sugar and the coconut milk and heat through. Season to taste with the salt. Discard the kaffir lime leaves. If desired, garnish with cilantro. This soup tastes better the second day when the flavors have blended more.