Saturday, December 11, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Winter's here, winter's here.....and I'm not afraid anymore!

For those of you who know me, you know that I spent a great deal of my life living in Hawaii, and before that, it was Texas. In Hawaii, we would go crazy if the temperature got below 70 degrees. So imagine my sheer horror when I moved to Atlanta, Ga and experienced my first winter.

It sucked.

I can't think of a better way to put it....other than, it sucked. I absolutely despised cold weather, and developed a new hate for snow. Yes. I know this sounds a bit harsh, but is what it is!

It took me a while to get used to this new season. For a long time, I refused to buy winter clothes. I did not like the way sweaters looked, I hated closed-toe shoes, and big bulky jackets were just too uncomfortable. There would be snow on the ground and I would wear a tank-top with 2 thin jackets, some jeans, and flip flops.

No people....I am not exaggerating. I thought of myself as some kind of winter-rebel!

But after about 8 years of living here, I am finally warming up to cold weather. Especially the warm cozy food you get to eat during the winter season.

In my opinion, Butternut Squash Soup is officially THE soup of the winter season. I have a friend who works in a restaurant that sells this soup every day, starting from Thanksgiving until about a week after new years.

I've worked in many restaurants that would always make this soup the second there was a slight chill in the air. Ah yes....the first signs of winter. But I must confess, I have never made this soup at home, until a few days ago.

This recipe is wonderful. All of the flavors meld wonderfully well together, and the addition of the roasted brussels sprouts with the drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette puts it over the top.

STEP 1: Cut the top and bottom of the squash and cut in half
STEP 2: Scoop out the pulp
STEP 3: Roast in the oven with garlic and shallot

STEP 4: Remove squash from oven and peel off skin.
STEP 5: Add to pot with garlic, shallot, and other ingredients

STEP 6: Strain Soup (No need for a "fancy shmancy" strainer. I used a simple colander)!
STEP 7: Season to taste and serve with brussels sprouts and vinaigrette

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

3 large butternut squash

1 head of garlic, cut in half

1 shallot

Olive Oil
1-inch ginger, peeled and grated

1 stalk lemongrass, chopped very finely
2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 quarts chicken stock
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
5 whole green cardamom pods
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Cut the top and bottom of the squash, and then cut them in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp and place them on a baking pan, along with the garlic and shallot. Drizzle the squash, garlic, and shallot with olive oil, and season the squash with salt and pepper. Place the baking pans in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Remove the squash from the oven and peel the skin off.

Heat a large pot on medium heat and squeeze the roasted shallot and roasted garlic from their skins, into the pot. Add the ginger and lemon grass with a little olive oil and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the roasted butternut squash, curry powder, allspice, and ground ginger.

Add chicken stock. Mix and simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (or use regular blender and blend in batches, then return to pot).

Wrap the coriander seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cardamom in cheese cloth, or a small spice bag. Place this in the soup, along with the coconut milk, cream, and honey. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Strain the soup (or don't strain for a more rustic soup), and adjust seasoning with salt to taste.
You might need to add a little more cream to adjust the consistency of the soup.

Brussels Sprouts:

10-12 brussels sprouts

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the bottoms off the brussels sprouts and quarter them.
(I shredded them in this picture, and this is not a good idea. They burn very quickly this way)

Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, cayenne and salt & pepper. Reserve 1/4 of this vinaigrette and toss the rest of it with the brussels.

Season with salt and pepper.
Place on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. To serve, ladle the soup in a bowl and garnish with brussels sprouts, a drizzle of the reserved balsamic vinaigrette, and a drizzle of heavy cream.


  1. Wow what a change from Hawaii to Georgia. I feel for you and i'm glad you're adjusting to the cold. I agree it sucks. I love butternut squash soup, yours looks delish (=

  2. delicious! this is perfect for the cold weather we've been having! :)

  3. Yes, it was a drastic change! Thank you

  4. Lovely soup. It looks quite tasty.

  5. I love the taste of coconut milk. Great Post and congrats on being named Foodbuzz's Top 9!!! That is a pretty cool honor!!!

  6. Thank you Briarrose and Shannon!!



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