When your mother grows butternut squash in her garden and saves most of them for you, it’s time to find a good way to use them up. Admittedly, I have never been a big fan of any type of squash. So, steaming it up and adding salt, pepper and a pat of butter is not my style. I need to fancy it up a bit. Preparing it as a soup along with onions, garlic, ridiculous amounts of fresh ginger and adding coconut milk with some other favorite spices allows the squash to be the perfect backdrop in a warm, comforting meal. I make some croutons to create interest and add some crunch to an otherwise smooth and silky bowl of soup.
Ginger and Spice Butternut Squash Soup
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons grated ginger
2 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons go-chu-jang (Korean chili paste)
zest and juice from one lime
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cans cocunut milk
1 handful fresh chopped parsley
For serving: Bread Crust Croutons (see recipe)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add ginger and butternut squash. Add chicken stock and turn up heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot for about 15 minutes until squash is tender. Cool mixture and puree in batches using a blender or immersion blender. Return mixture to pot.
Turn heat to medium low and add go-chu-jang, lime zest and juice, cider vinegar, Sriracha, Worcestershire sauce and coconut milk. Heat until all ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more salt and pepper or hot sauces. Turn off heat and add parsley. Serve with Bread Crust Croutons (recipe below).
I save the heels from sandwich bread and stick them in the freezer until I have so many they tumble out onto the floor everytime I open the freezer door. That’s when I make croutons or serve garlic toast as a side to go with dinner.
Bread Crust Croutons
1-2 sandwich loaf heels
1 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat oven to broil or use toaster oven, if you have one. Cut bread into 1″ pieces. Spread bread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil over bread. Toss with your hands to coat. Sprinkle bread with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried parsley. Toast in oven until edges brown and bread is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve on soup, salads or by themselves as a snack.