Pureed Kabocha Squash & Sweet Potato Red Curry Soup

Jess enjoying her pureed soup over an al fresco lunch | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Enjoying an al fresco lunch while catching up on some reading

Even though it’s summer, I’ve been on a curry kick lately. As someone who has spent a lot of time sweating over plates of spicy food in hot and humid SE Asia, curry is a year-round meal for me. We’ve already featured curry a few times on this blog; there was our Chicken and Zucchini Green Curry that gave you the basics to Thai currying and our Thai Red Curry Shrimp video with the awesome production team at KinCommunity. Today, I present you with yet another take on curry. We take all those good flavors and turn it into a luscious, fragrant pureed soup. The cooking process is virtually the same, except you don’t add a protein (as pureed chicken should only be served to babies), and at the end, you take an immersion blender to bring all the ingredients together.

You can make this pureed curry soup with just about any vegetable, and of course feel free to use green, yellow, or red curry pastes. Some tasty combinations that have come out of our kitchen are:

  • Potatoes + Zucchini + Green curry paste
  • Broccoli + Spinach + Green curry paste
  • Sweet potatoes + Carrots + Red curry paste
  • Kabocha squash + Sweet potatoes + Red curry paste
  • Potatoes + Carrots + Yellow curry paste

The basic pureed soup cooking formula requires 1 medium white / yellow onion (roughly chopped, because no one will see it once it’s pureed), ~4 to ~6 cups of vegetables, chopped to similar sizes, and enough liquid to cover it all. To curry-fy this soup, we layer on our basic Thai curry cooking formula, adding some coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. For our 4 to 6 cups of vegetables, we’ve chosen a combination of kabocha squash and sweet potatoes. If your grocery cart has never met a kabocha squash, let me introduce the two of you. Kabocha is a winter squash shaped very much like a squat pumpkin. Though the flesh inside is orange, the skin is mostly hunter green with a marbling of yellow. Unlike a lot of winter squashes that have a bit of a stringy texture to them, kabocha has a creamy, rich consistency to it. It’s a perfect candidate for baby food, mashes, and of course, pureed soups. It’s not available in all grocery stores, but I’ve seen it in enough that I’m sure if you look around, you’ll find it. If not, ping me, and I’ll source it, just for you.

How to work with kabocha squash and sweet potato | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Top left: Skin of a kabocha squash; Top right: Seeds of a kabocha squash; Bottom left: Use a vegetable paring knife to slice off skin. If it’s too tough to work with, soften in a microwave for 3 minutes; Bottom right: Orange-flesh sweet potato, my favorite type to purchase

Like butternut squash, kabocha has got a tough skin. Pop it in the microwave for about 3 minutes, which is enough time to soften the skin up for peeling but not cook the flesh. I often would put it in the microwave on my way out to run errands or in the morning before work, and it’d be cool enough to work with when I returned home. Once you peel it, just scoop out the seeds, and rough chop it. The sweet potato is much more straightforward to work with, so long as you have a good peeler. After teaching in dozens of kitchens, I realize that a sharp peeler is not a given. If you don’t own a good peeler, I urge you to get one like this one made by OXO; it’ll make your prep go so much smoother. Chop these up along with an white / yellow onion, and you’re all set to get your soup started. Full recipe below, along with a how-to video

Pureed Kabocha Squash and Sweet Potato Red Curry Soup | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

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