We never celebrate Halloween (unless you count the drunken college parties rejoicing from a break at school) and this year wasn’t any different. Or that was supposed to be the plan – meaning there isn’t one – until Sandy happened. Worrying about loved ones a continent away is a very stressful activity, and one I have no wish to repeat. To de-stress we cooked something up that will bring the jolliness of Halloween while also exuding that gentle comfort we desperately need. So, without any prior plans and without meaning to, we ended up celebrating Halloween after all with a very scrumptious Spicy Squash and Coconut Milk Soup with Shrimp.
Since our tropical country doesn’t have pumpkins – which was pretty disappointing – we settled for our local variety of squash.
I never had any squash soup before and I had to thank Google for giving me a starting ground to work on. I found a great recipe at Whole Foods Market that I tweaked a little to get to the one I cooked up in my witches’ cauldron. To give it a “soupy” consistency, I decided to puree it. Talk about a day of firsts! First squash soup and first use of our blender outside of making smoothies – don’t forget our first ever Halloween thingy!
The soup was surprisingly tasty and heavy on the stomach. I stay away from soups because I have it in my head that they’ll just make me hungry after 15 minutes but this one packs a substantial punch and is very filling. Good thing I didn’t use the whole squash or we’d have been eating soup until today! Another good thing about this recipe was that I finally had a chance to try using red curry paste and now I’m excited to incorporate it in other dishes. Yay! This recipe is definitely a keeper.
Belated Happy Halloween! Hope you all had a great time trick and treatin’!
Spicy Squash and Coconut Milk Soup with Shrimp
- 1 1/2 pound squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 2 thumb-sized ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 400ml chicken broth
- 200ml coconut milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose cream
- 3 jalapeno, with ends cut off
- Black pepper and salt, to taste
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until they begin to brown.
2. Add the onion and ginger and stir fry until the onions become translucent. Stir in the red curry paste, sugar and salt and cook for 1 minute or so longer.
3. Add the carrot, squash, chicken stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
4. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Puree until smooth.
5. Return to the pot over medium heat. Add the shrimp and jalapeno and simmer for 3 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through.
6. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings with black pepper and salt.
7. Serve while still hot with your choice of bread. Enjoy!