Only four more days in New York! We’re going to Chicago for a week, then it’s off to Thailand. I’m trying to use up as much of the food I have in the pantry as I can. There was vegetable base, tomato paste, and the remainder of a can of coconut cream left over from last weekend’s Jamaican black bean soup. I noticed an orphan in the back of the pantry: a bottle of Guinness Stout. I ran out of time to try that new recipe for Chocolate Guinness Cake. So, I guess we’ll just have to drink it before we leave New York!
Butternut squash soup with coconut cream is slightly sweet but not too salty, deliciously satisfying and smooth. This is a great soup for a light summer supper accompanying a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich.
Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Cream
Prep time: 20 minutes (includes pureeing the vegetables)
Cook time: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-6 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1-2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 medium carrots, scraped and cut into inch pieces
4 teaspoons vegetable base
4 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup unsweetened coconut cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Scallion and cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)
In a large dutch pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, squash, potato and carrots to the oil. Cook until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add water and vegetable base to the pot. Stir. Add the tomato paste and stir. Cook 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables can be pierced easily with a fork. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut cream. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook’s Note: Be careful with the salt because there is salt in the vegetable base and the tomato paste, so it’s important to taste the soup first before adding additional salt.
Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables in the pot. Alternatively, put the vegetables and soup in a blender to puree them. Do this in batches. Serve hot garnished with chopped scallion and cilantro, if desired, and a sprinkle of sea salt.