vegan thai curry butternut squash soup with coconut sunflower seed brittle
Well it’s almost the weekend, and I feel like the weather is almost on the cusp of changing. Today felt rather Spring-like, and I kinda wasn’t keen. Weird as it may sound, I love Winter. Cold, blustery days. Being all cosy and warm inside, wrapped up in fluffy pyjamas. It is still preeeetty cold outside though, so comfort food is definitely on the agenda. I’m trying to steer away from my usual suspects (yes pasta, I’m talking about you) and to make things a little lighter in the new year. This butternut squash soup is perfect. It’s unctuous, creamy and rich with a hint of spice. And it’s so good for you! As a bonus, it can also very easily be made vegan. What more can you ask for?!
The brittle is so delicious. And don’t worry, there’s plenty left over to have as a sneaky midnight snack! I absolutely love things that are sweet and salty at the same time, and the smoky heat from the paprika is so good with that combo. The textural contrast is spot on with the crunch from the brittle against the silky smoothness from the soup. Once you start thinking of soup as basically a hot smoothie, it’s so simple! You don’t need to fuss with onions or potatoes to thicken it. Your best friend is a really powerful high speed blender. I know a lot of people like Vitamix, but there are some WAY cheaper options on Amazon if you take a look. The important thing is the number of watts the machine is powered by. The higher the better. You don’t need a brand name, one of the commercial ones will be just as good, if not better.
Butternut squash are such a great vegetable to buy next time you’re out shopping . They are so versatile. You can use them in everything from soup to smoothies to vegan mac and cheese sauces. Roast little cubes and pop them in your salad. Spread it onto crostini with a little ricotta salata. Go wild! Just thinking about it, roasting some slices in balsamic vinegar would be so good paired with some peppery arugula and dried cranberries. Maybe a little goats cheese. The rambles of of a food addict! Anyway, enough from me. Make the butternut squash soup. Indulge, without the guilt. And give some of the other ideas a try. Let me know how it works out for you!
- Serves: 3
- Prep: 5 mins
- Cook: 1 hr
- Passive: 20 mins
- 1 butternut squash
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 tsp red thai curry paste (check the label if you are vegan, some contain shrimp)
- 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds (the hearts, not the big chewy ones!)
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp maple syrup can sub for honey if you’re not vegan
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 400f. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then get ready to tackle the squash!
- Carefully, using a large chef’s knife, cut the butternut squash in half lengthways, then into quarters. Use a spoon to remove the seeds, then place the quarters flesh-side down on the baking sheet.
- Roast for an hour, checking halfway through. I like to add about 1/2 cup water to the tray halfway through to help steam the squash.
- When it is fork tender, remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle.
- Remove the skin, scooping out the flesh with a spoon. You should have at least 3 cups worth of squash. If you have any left over, you can save it for something else (add it to a smoothie!).
- Add 3 cups of squash along with the other soup ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- In a small saucepan over a medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Keep stirring until they are bubbling and starting to caramelise, then pour out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- When the brittle has cooled and hardened, break it into small pieces.
- To serve, swirl the soup with a little extra coconut milk and sprinkle with the brittle and a little more paprika for colour.
To save time, make the brittle as soon as the squash has gone in the oven!