Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thai Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet & Salty Pumpkin Seeds

I've been wanting to post this recipe for a few weeks now. I absolutely love Thai foods and flavors, and I'm always trying to make Thai-inspired foods in my kitchen. However, I don't find myself having much success with it. If I were to say I am having any pregnancy cravings, it would definitely be for Thai foods! When I saw the recipe for this soup, I knew I wanted to try it. It has a good spice and kick to it and it has a nice Thai flavor. This soup is really healthy - you probably get your Vitamin A intake for several days in just one serving! The sweet & salty (and a little spicy) pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch and they are totally worth the extra 5 minutes or so of time and effort. Enjoy!

Recipe for Thai Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet & Salty Pumpkin Seeds


For the sweet & salty pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. of coarse sea salt
A pinch or two of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. of canola oil
1 cup of pumpkin seeds

For the soup
48 ounces of precut butternut squash pieces
1 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. of butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 one-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled & diced
1 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
3 cups of water
1 13.5 ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
1 - 2 Tbsp. of red curry paste
1/2 tsp. of salt
Cream, for drizzling (optional)

For the pumpkin seeds:
Use the cayenne pepper only if you want a little kick to the seeds - if you just want sweet and salty, leave it out!

Put the sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper (if using) into a medium sized bowl. Put canola oil into a skillet and set over high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until the seeds begin to brown and they pop quickly, about three minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully transfer the cooked seeds to the bowl with the sugar. Use a spoon to coat the seeds in the sugar mixture. Place the coated seeds on a foil lined baking sheet and allow to cool. Use about a tablespoon of seeds per serving of soup. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container - and they are great for snacking!

For the soup:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the butternut squash pieces on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until you can insert a fork all the way into the squash. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Melt the butter in a large pot set over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add in the chopped onions and the ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Add in the garlic powder, stir, and cook for another 30 seconds. Pour in the water and coconut milk. Stir in the curry paste and salt. Let the mixture come to a boil, then add in the cooked butternut squash pieces. Return to a boil, then lower heat to medium low and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then remove pot from heat. Allow it to cool just slightly. Then use an immersion blender or regular blender (an immersion blender is much easier, if you don't have one, I suggest buying one) to puree the soup until it is smooth. Return the soup to the heat and cook on low for a couple minutes until heated through. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a drizzle of cream and about a tablespoon of sweet and salty pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Soup Recipe Adapted from: Alexandra's Kitchen 
Pumpkin Seed Recipe Source: Alexandra's Kitchen 

*Does the sweet and salty pumpkin seed recipe look familiar? That's because I topped the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with them! These cupcakes are the BEST.*