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Friday, December 20, 2013

Acorn Squash Thai Soup


Around this time of the year, I love the variety of Winter squashes in the market. Hubbard, Kabocha, Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Sweet Dumpling... Not too long ago we had a good yield of Hubbard and Butternut squash from our garden. And as long as they were safe in the cold basement, they lasted for over 6 months.

Be it fragrant fried rice or roasted sides or hearty soups, pumpkins and squashes have been featuring prominently in the meals lately.

Acorn Squash Thai Soup is much like a simple Thai soup, except to boost the squash flavor, I roasted some acorn squash and pureed it and stirred it into the simmering soup.

Grind the soup base ingredients together and keep handy.

Soup base:
2 1-inch piece of dry galangal, reconstituted in water -OR- 2 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp lime peel, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 medium lemongrass stalk, crushed/pounded a bit -OR- 1 tsp lemongrass powder
2 Tbsp sambal oelek, if handy, else chopped Thai bird chilies or serrano or other chilies of your choice
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp Bragg liquid aminos
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 citron leaves, if handy (instead of kaffir lime leaves)
½ tsp turmeric powder (optional)

Roast about a cup of chopped acorn squash in a 400°F oven for about 15 minutes till done; or pan-roast it with some oil in a cast iron skillet till done. Purée and keep handy.

For the soup:
Acorn squash chunks, as much as preferred from one medium acorn squash
1 to 2 cups light coconut milk
other veggies (optional): carrots, onions, snap peas
1 Tbsp peanut oil or sesame oil
1 cup vegetable stock


Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the soup base paste and sauté till aromatic, about 5 minutes on medium heat
  2. Add the acorn squash and other veggies, stock, a pinch of salt and simmer till vegetable are cooked through but not mushy
  3. Stir in the pureed roasted acorn squash and the coconut milk to desired taste and consistency; simmer gently till flavors meld - about 5 minutes
  4. Garnish with chopped spring onions and cilantro



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