Let’s talk butternut squash!
As I write this I am looking out the window at the rain drizzling down. Watching the rain while bundled up in a cozy blanket and sipping hot tea is one of my favorite things to do. Days like these call for a warm, comforting soup. One of my favorites comes from Better Homes and Gardens: Butternut Squash Soup with Thai Gremolata. The creaminess of the butternut squash is so comforting, yet it has the slightest, unexpected kick to it from the red pepper. My favorite part is that this is made with veggies and unsweetened coconut milk which makes it healthy and low in calories. So much more guilt free than most of the butternut squash soups out there that use tons of cream.
The freshness from the peanut, basil, and lime gremolata on top really helps find the balance between the creamy butternut squash and the kick from the peppers. If you’re not familiar with gremolata, it is “a chopped herb condiment classically made of lemon zest, garlic and parsley.” This twist on a classic brings in complimentary flavors while still adding that freshness.
Now when I think condiment, I think mayo, mustard, ketchup, relish, etc. All of those are fairly rich. A gremolata is a condiment that can add a freshness to a dish. It is usually used with a rich meaty dish, but can be added to anything. I get a little obsessed with this particular gremolata and start adding it to everything! I especially like it on top of a roasted squash (or eggplant) or broiled fish.
Let’s talk about this immersion blender. I have wanted a food processor for a long time. I wanted something to quickly chop up small things. However, life in the bay area doesn’t exactly come with large living spaces. I didn’t have space for a large food processor. What I did discover was this immersion blender with attachments! It is small so it easily fits in my drawers and the attachments mean that I have a power whisk and a food processor as well! I have been pretty much pureeing everything I can get my hands on ever since! Back to butternut squash soup…. The first time I made it, I transferred everything from the crock pot over to the blender to mix up. Yes, I spilled everywhere. This time I stuck the immersion blender in and in one minute we were done with no mess!
Voila! The final product!
Couldn’t resist one more shot before diving in!
Butternut Squash Soup with Thai Gremolata
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 cup snipped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded lime peel
- Lime wedges (optional)
- In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker stir together squash, broth, coconut milk, onion, brown sugar, fish sauce, and Asian chili sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
- In a small bowl stir together basil, peanuts, and lime peel.This is your thai gremolata. Set this aside until serving.
- Use an immersion blender to carefully blend soup until completely smooth. (Or, transfer the mixture in batches to a food processor or blender; or use a potato masher to mash mixture nearly smooth.)
- Stir in lime juice.
- Ladle into bowls and top with Thai Gremolata. Serve with lime wedges.
What’s your favorite healthy comfort food?
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