Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup kicked up with Thai curry flavor and served with sweet and spicy candied peanuts. Want a soup that’ll warm you up? This is it.

I was vegetarian for most of my twenties and though I eat (ethically-raised, organic) meat now, I wouldn’t have that much trouble giving it up. On the other hand, I was vegan for about 45 minutes and almost lost my mind craving cheese.

I admit that I’m slightly weird with dairy. The thought of drinking a glass of milk makes me shudder with horror, but cheesy pastas and creamy soups are my comfort foods of choice. It would take a lot for me to say goodbye to them forever.

This soup is absolutely comfort food in the best way but, surprise! It also happens to be vegan. Yes, vegan. The trick (if it could even be called that) is to combine silky puréed butternut squash with creamy, rich coconut milk. The texture becomes as smooth as bisque, without a drop of dairy.

Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

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Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Maple Cream

Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Maple Cream

This Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup is silky and luscious, with the perfect balance of sweet and spice. A little swirl of maple-sweetened sour cream takes it over the top.

I feel like it was only a few weeks ago that every post I wrote seemed to start with me whining and complaining about how cold it was outside. Well, prepare for a déjà vu because it’s frakking freezing again and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Oh joy. I know it’s going to warm up a bit again before the semi-permanent winter-long deep freeze hits us but, seriously Nature, can you give a girl a break? See, one of the things about buying a lovely, hundred-year-old house is that it’s goddamn drafty. Luckily I have a dog and two cats that want to be on a lap at all times so that helps. A bit. A teeny, tiny bit. Also, soup.

Speaking of déjà vu (and soup), it was about this same time last year that we posted our recipe for Mashed Butternut Squash With Thyme And Mascarpone, which has become one of the most popular recipes on NwK. I think butternut squash is so popular because it’s not only delicious, it’s also extremely easy to cook well. It has a gorgeous, silky texture (without any of the stringiness you find in a lot of pumpkins and squash) and it also has that beautiful, vibrant color that just screams Fall. It’s the vegetal equivalent of wearing a cable-knit sweater while walking through a pile of brittle, umber leaves. It’s Mr. Autumn Man’s favorite gourd.

Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Maple Cream
Look at Nerd Tips below for nutrition as well as buying and storing tips.

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Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup

Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup

Healthy and refreshing, but oh so satisfying, our fresh and zesty Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup is what you want to eat when the weather turns hot. It puts the ahhhh in spa food. 

SCENE 1. INTERIOR. DAYIt’s brutally hot outside. Matt and Emily (plus a dog, two cats and five chickens) are sprawled all over the living room, fanning themselves.

MATT: It’ll be July 4th soon! We should make something appropriately red, white, and blue, like you Americans (sniff)… enjoy.

EMILY: First, (waving citizenship papers) that’s *we* Americans, buddy, and second, what do we have in the pantry that’s red and blue?

MATT: I WILL FIND OUT. (Matt disappears into the pantry for several hours. Cue special effect of the hands of a wall clock spinning forward. Eventually he re-appears with a can of tomatoes and a ball of blue string.)

EMILY(Long, long pause). What other colors do we have?

MATT(Chews on the ball of blue string, thoughtfully, and looks out of window at the deck, where a Triffid-like mass of herbs threatens to destroy the house.) Green. Lots and lots of green.

EMILY: THAT GIVES ME AN IDEA. (Grabs sunglasses and a large pair of scissors, heads outside.) Get ready to be…(lowers sunglasses enough to peer over them)…REFRESHED.

Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup

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Classic Tomato Soup

Classic Tomato Soup
Easy, Delicious Homemade Tomato Soup

Recently I had one of those nights when I came home late and exhausted and all I wanted to do was flop down on the couch and watch something fun on TV (current obsessions: House of Cards, True Detective, Ripper Street, The Americans and don’t even call me on Sunday nights once Game of Thrones is back BECAUSE I WILL NOT ANSWER THE PHONE).

Those are the nights when I want to cook something fast and easy, and I don’t want to have to make a special trip to the store to get ingredients. I looked in the pantry and thought “Yes! You can do this, Clifton. Find something in there to make that doesn’t suck!” Well, I’ll tell you this. A warm bowl of homemade classic tomato soup does not suck.

Until tomato season comes round again (it’s hard to remember a time when the yard wasn’t basically permafrost), big cans of good tomatoes are a perfect pantry standby. You can make this classic tomato soup with either crushed or whole plum tomatoes, if you don’t mind crushing them with your hands. Some of you might quite enjoy doing that, I don’t know, that’s your business. Either way, you will want a stick blender to finish the job.

NOTE: If you’re feeling extra-fancy, make a little grilled cheese sandwich to go alongside your masterpiece. I, of course, was far too lazy even for that and just spread some goat cheese on a cracker and sprinkled some black pepper and scallions over it. Oh,  and some chopped radishes on the side because they’re also red.

Easy, Delicious Tomato Soup
Goat cheese, cracked pepper and scallions

Easy, Delicious Tomato Soup

Turkey Stock for Gravy

Ultimate Turkey Stock for GravyAsk me what my favorite Thanksgiving recipe is. Go on, ask. Fine, I’ll tell you anyway, but it might just blow your mind (not really, but just go with me here). It’s home-made turkey stock. Well, it’s really the gravy that is made with that stock but I’ll get to that soon.

I know it’s not gorgeously colorful like Mashed Butternut Squash. It’s not a crowd-pleaser like Sausage Stuffing With Apples and Sage, but it really does make everything it goes into taste so much better.

I wish I could say I was one of those people who always has a freezer full of home made stock ready for any culinary adventure, but the truth is I use boxed chicken stock all the time. It’s so convenient and the decent ones taste pretty good.

But for Thanksgiving I always go the extra mile and, funnily enough, it really kicks off the holiday season for me. It’s always the first recipe I make (often a week or even two before Thanksgiving) because I can make it on a weekend and freeze it until it’s needed. Honestly, I think it’s what makes this Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy) so irresistible.

Ultimate Turkey Stock for Gravy
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