Squash, Corn and Coconut Soup
Last weekend we went for a hike up at Washington Pass which crosses through the North Cascades National Park. It is one of the higher passes here in Washington State at over 5,000 ft. We were searching for larches, beautiful deciduous conifer trees whose needs turn golden at this time of the year. We found them but we also found snow flurries. The pass was dusted with a light coating of snow.
Tonight's forecast is for more cold. The snow level is to drop to 2,500 ft. It seems early to me - it isn't even mid-October. We checked our records for last year and the first frost was not until October 26th. It may be earlier this year.
We picked up some late harvest corn. I had also bought a butternut squash. I was originally going to make phyllo squash turnovers. I was looking at Epicurious to get an idea of what to do with 10 ears of corn and came across a recipe using both squash and corn.
Their version suggested using either calabaza or kabocha squash but the reviews said it worked well with butternut.
It was very easy to make. Cutting up the squash was the most challenging. It was so delicious - rich, creamy and Asian from the coconut milk. This one is a winner.
Butternut Squash, Corn and Coconut Soup
Based up recipe from Gourmet
2 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 (~2 1/4lb) butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut mil (12oz)
3 ears of corn (fresh or thawed frozen), kernals cut off and reserved and cobs cut halved crosswise
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
For Corn Relish
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of sugar
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups corn kernel from above
2 TBS coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 TBS finally chopped shallot
Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately heat, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften and edges are browned, about 4 minutes. Add cilantro stems and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add squash pieces and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Stir in water, coconut milk, corn cobs, salt, and cayenne and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. (It took about 20-30 minutes at a low simmer for the squash to cook)
Prepare corn relish while soup simmers:
Whisk together lime juice, salt, and sugar in a bowl, then add oil and whisk until combined.
Cook corn kernels in a saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well, then transfer to dressing along with cilantro and shallot and toss well to coat
Discard corn cobs, then purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until smooth, transferring to a 2-quart measure.
Divide soup among bowls and gently stir 1/4 cup corn relish into each.