This recipe is by Padma Lakshmi, of Top Chef fame, she has a cookbook of her own (despite looking like she's the 'Top Chef booth bunny', she has some cooking credentials). And this indeed tasted good, sweet and spicy and creamy. A thick soup. You can alter the heat by adding more or less of the red pepper flakes. It does take a while to cook, about 45 minutes plus prep time, but worth it.Curried Butternut Squash Soup
adapated from a recipe from Padma Lakshmi
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced shallots
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup minced fresh peeled ginger
4 bay leaves
1/2 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1-1/3 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp curry powder
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1-inch chunk palm sugar
One 15-ounce can low-fat coconut milk
Freshly chopped chives, for garnish
Fresh curry leaves, for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue to stir; add ginger. Continue cooking until shallots are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add bay leaves and red pepper; continue cooking for 1 minute more. Stir in squash, salt, and curry powder; cook for 10 minutes.
Raise the heat to medium-high, and add vegetable stock. Cover, and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring and mashing every 5 minutes. Add the palm sugar and cook for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaves from soup. If desired, use an immersion blender to purée until smooth.
Garnish with chives and/or curry leaves, and serve immediately.