Tip: Pomegranate seeds can occasionally be purchased already cleaned. Look for them in refrigerated produce aisles in specialty food stores. If not available, remove seeds from a whole pomegranate. Fill a large bowl with cold water and place it in the sink. Cut the pomegranate into quarters, submerge in bowl of water and break apart with your hands, while remaining under water. Use your fingers to push out the seeds. Discard the shell, as the seeds come out. The white membrane will float to the top and the red seeds will sink to the bottom. Drain the water, discard the membrane and reserve the seeds.
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
- 6 cups peeled, diced butternut squash, (about a 2-3lb squash)
- 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 3 cups, low sodium vegetable broth, chicken broth or water can be substituted
- 1 (400ml) can coconut milk
- 1/4 cup store-bought croutons, for garnish, if desired
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish, if desired
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish, if desired, see cleaning instructions below
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil, set over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add butternut squash and curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Add coconut milk, stir and remove from heat.
Puree soup using an immersion blender or working in batches, transfer to blender—being careful of steam as soup will be hot—and puree until smooth. Return soup to pot and set over medium heat. Stir until heated through and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve ladled into warm bowls and garnish with croutons, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds, if desired.
Photography by Carlo Mendoza