Fall is high season for traditional squash and pumpkin soups, but we like to take it in a different direction with some classic Thai flavors that really pop. Thai and Asian cuisine is known for balancing sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavors in the same dish and this flavorful bisque does just that. To make this simple recipe, you’ll need a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven, roasting pan and a food processor or blender.
This simple recipe uses four types of winter squash (butternut, acorn, delicata and sugar pumpkin) to provide an earthy, umami base for the soup. Many creamy pumpkin soups start with sautéeing the squash; however, you may find that roasting it instead, intensifies the flavors. It also happens to be an easier method. Instead of peeling, chopping and sautéeing, you simply halve the squash, remove the seeds and roast until tender. While the squash roasts, you sauté the rest of the vegetables with aromatics like fresh ginger, spicy red chilies, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, a hint of cinnamon and allspice combine for a tongue tingling blend. The overall effect is spicy, but not fiery.
Maple syrup and unsweetened applesauce add a bit of (unconventional) sweetness to the soup and canned coconut milk (not cream of coconut) gives it an Asian bent. Freshly squeezed lime juice gives the luxurious blend a tangy, lively finish.
When it comes to Thai cuisine, don’t forget the garnish. No, not an orchid; instead try a smatter of fresh cilantro, toasted pepita seeds, thinly sliced red chilies and a drizzle of reserved coconut milk. Together, they add texture, splashes of color, and make this velvety soup even more inviting.
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