there’s something stirring. October 18, 2010

coconut ginger butternut squash soup

My whirlwind month of work didn’t stop after I came back from BlogHer Food ’10. I dropped my suitcases, climbed into bed, and woke up the next day to begin production on another week-long shoot. All the while, my mind has been racing with ideas and inspiration that I brought home with me. A by-product of my time at the conference was a strong desire – a need – to collaborate with the people around me I love. Folks whose work I admire. There are so many right here in Atlanta…and it was reinforced to me that the blog community and the world of the Internet is a tight-knit bunch. Why can’t we reach out and do more things together? I have something in mind…and we’ll see if I can get the words and the organization in place to make that happen.

As I’ve been twirling my hair, biting my nails and generally being preoccupied with this as-yet-unnamed side project, there has been a gigantic butternut squash sitting on the counter calling my name. It’s finally cooled off here in the South and the smattering of leaves on the ground is one of the first signs that the season is changing. As anyone who has read this blog before knows, desire for comfort + mental preoccupation usually means soup. I’m a huge fan of butternut squash soups, as a general rule…and this version is possibly the best I’ve ever had. Throwing in a small can of coconut milk & a dash or two of ginger juice (I’ve been using this stuff in everything as of late – having it around for dressings and cocktails is a good thing), it’s a perfectly balanced gently-flavored soup that could be gussied up however you choose. However, this is an instant where I’ll emphatically encourage you to make this garnish. These sugared pistachios take mere minutes to make and are equally as delicious as the soup itself.

Creamy Coconut & Butternut Squash Soup with Sugared Pistachios – serves 4 to 6 as a soup course

For the garnish:

  • 1 cup shelled, unsalted roasted pistachios
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

For the Soup:

  • 1 large 1 1/2 – 2 pound butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 14 ounce cans of good quality vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. ginger juice – I buy mine from The Ginger People
  • 1 small 5.6 ounce can coconut milk
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste (optional)

- To make the garnish: In a medium saute pan, melt the butter. When fully melted, add the pistachios and stir to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle salt, sugar and cinnamon over the nuts and stir again to make sure they’re evenly covered. Remove from heat. Spread out on baking pan or non-stick cookie sheet & allow to cool.

- To make the soup: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, drizzle with olive oil and place face down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender – about 1 hour. Allow to cool enough to be able to handle the squash. Remove all the roasted flesh and place in large stockpot. Add vegetable broth to pot over medium heat and allow the squash to further break down and mix in with the broth. When brought to a low simmer, add in the coconut milk (make sure you stir it before you pour it into the pot) and ginger juice. Take off the heat and allow to cool again. In batches, blend the squash & soup liquid in a blender (the Vitamix is amazing for this) until pureed to desired consistency. Return to pot and heat before serving. Sprinkle the top of the soup with the sugared pistachios right before serving.

Comments

Chris Oct 19, 2010 12:10 am

Next dinner? This is on the menu my friend! See you soon!

tami Oct 19, 2010 08:10 pm

Speaking of…we need to do that SOON. xoxo

Erin Oct 19, 2010 01:10 am

Mmmm, butternut squash soup – such a perfect creamy comfort food w/o the carbs.
Can’t wait to try to make this…better yet, Chris can I come to said “dinner”? ;-)

Can’t wait to hear more about your side project!

tami Oct 19, 2010 08:10 pm

Thanks, dear. You’ll be hearing about it *soon*. We all need to have dinner again…and I can totally make a batch of this if you’d like :)

Kalynskitchen Oct 19, 2010 01:10 am

Drooling!

tami Oct 19, 2010 08:10 pm

Awww…thanks, Kalyn! Missed you at BHF this year! xoxo

Alexandra Oct 19, 2010 02:10 am

Well HELLO there. Yum. Just found your blog and got that beautiful soup picture to greet me. Absolutely *love* your blog!

tami Oct 19, 2010 08:10 pm

Hi, Alexandra! Thanks for taking the time to stop by the blog & leave a comment. Always nice to meet new readers out there. Your blog is great, too!

Kate Oct 19, 2010 02:10 am

Mmm this looks like a winner of a butternut squash soup. I’ve never made a good one, probably because I don’t follow the recipe, but this is one I will have to try out. Yum!

tami Oct 19, 2010 08:10 pm

I sort of made this one up as I went along & you can adjust the levels of salt and ginger, etc. to your liking. Lemme know if you give it a go. Hope you’re well! :)

Cookin' Canuck Oct 19, 2010 12:10 pm

Tami, it was so good to meet you at BlogHer. Your session on food styling was one of the most helpful sessions I attended.

This soup is gorgeous! The thought of coconut, ginger, and butternut squash together is very enticing.

tami Oct 19, 2010 08:10 pm

Dara – It was great to finally meet you after having been a follower of your blog for some time. Thanks for all the praise about the styling session – it was a ton of fun for us & I’m glad folks learned something. :)

Helene Oct 19, 2010 01:10 pm

Well whatever your side project is, I know I am going to be sorry I don’t live any closer…
I’ll just have to make and eat vats of this soup instead. Like that would be difficult!
Looks and sounds fantastic!

tami Oct 19, 2010 08:10 pm

Don’t worry – you’ll be told all about it when I sort it out in my head. That’s the magic of the internet…you can be in Charleston and still take part. I think you’re right about this soup…we should have it at Thanksgiving :) xoxo

Abigail @ Good To Think and Eat Oct 20, 2010 03:10 am

Butternut squash. Pistachios. Ginger. Coconut Milk.

4 of my favorite things in the world. I can’t wait to make this!

Rachelino Oct 20, 2010 05:10 pm

The color alone makes me happy. I also loved your styling session at Blogher – I cannot get over that egg salad sandwich, and how different it looked in all those shots….excellent step-by-step example.
What are those teensy leaves? From basil?

tami Oct 20, 2010 06:10 pm

Thanks, Rachel! I was thinking of posting that egg salad demo on the blog since you have a hard time getting a sense of what I’m talking about through liveblogging and streaming :) So glad you got a lot out of the session – mission accomplished! Yes…the leaves are basil. I have this weird mutant hybrid basil growing on my patio (where the photo was taken) which is a self mutation of lemon & regular basil. Really great with the soup – the leaf garnish was a spur of the moment addition :)

- t*

Kim - Liv Life Oct 21, 2010 01:10 am

Wow!! Amazing photos. I’m loving the ingredients in the comforting soup. Having just purchased my first squash of the season I think I now have something to do with it! Nicely done!

Monster Librarian Oct 21, 2010 03:10 am

Love the new look!

The Teacher Cooks Oct 21, 2010 09:10 pm

I love your soup recipes and this one is so colorful! Like your new look, too!

emiglia Oct 27, 2010 05:10 pm

When I saw this picture, I thought it was just a traditional butternut squash soup… I love the addition of coconut!

Tina Oct 28, 2010 03:10 am

Your photos are always so gorgeous Tami. The soup looks wonderful! It was great running into you at Taste of Atlanta this past weekend. Love the blog’s new look!

julie (etsy stalkers) Dec 8, 2010 08:12 pm

This looks so good. Almost makes me want to cook. Almost.

[...] specifically meant for dinner parties and entertaining. Sure, you could make one of the many soups on the blog or maybe one of these. With this recipe, I’ve managed to cover both bases. This [...]