Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Asian Butternut Squash and Rice Soup

Over the holidays the Cooking Channel ran a series of Jamie Oliver Family Holiday Specials. On one of them he made a butternut squash soup full of Asian flavors that sounded so interesting we just had to make it.
Asian Butternut & Rice Soup
There was no official version of the recipe anywhere online but, I found a few people who had attempted to transcribe it from the show & I adapted from there.

We thought it was quite usual when Jamie didn't peel the squash before putting in the soup, wouldn't it stay hard? Surprise, the peel cooked up soft & tasted great. Why have we been wasting time peeling? Also, unlike a lot of butternut squash soups, this one doesn't get puréed but, stays in large chunks.

The spice mixture for this soup smelled amazing with the lime, lemongrass, garlic & ginger. So, we were surprised at how mild the final soup was especially once the coconut milk was added. The lime juice squeezed in at the end really lived all the flavors thankfully. Matt also added a good dash of sriracha. The soup was much thicker than I expected (though Matt remembered it being quite thick on the show) & almost has a rice porridge or congee texture. Quite comforting on a cold winter's night.

Asian Butternut Squash Soup
(adapted from Jamie's Family Holiday TV show)

1 c white rice (we used jasmine rice)
zest of 2 limes
2 6-inch pieces of lemongrass, crushed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 Fresno pepper, seeded (or go for something hotter if you like)
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 heaping t Asian five spice powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
1 butternut squash, seeded & cut into 1-inch squares (do not bother to peel)
4 c chicken stock
11 oz coconut milk
juice of 2 limes

Cook rice. Rinse & set aside.

Put the lime zest, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, Fresno pepper, olive oil, Asian five spice, cumin & salt into a small food processor. Blend into a smooth paste.

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the spice mixture & sauté for 1 minute. Add the onions & cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the squash & stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked rice & simmer another 10 minutes. (The squash should be tender by now.) Stir in the coconut milk. Warm through. Add the lime juice. Taste for seasoning & add salt as needed. Drizzle each serving with a little olive oil if you wish.

4 servings

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RJ Flamingo said...

What an unexpected and interesting set of ingredients! It sounds perfect for a chilly night's supper. Bookmarking!


i bet this was terrific - lemongrass, ginger, coconut milk - that is a stick-to-your-ribs recipe!

Lori said...

This does sound very comforting. It does remind me of congee. I like the flavors.

Sippity Sup said...

This is wonderful. I can totally imagine how it would taste it reminds me a bit of the flavors in pumpkin no nomomo. A Japanese dish with poached chunks of squash. GREG

Unknown said...

I can hardly believe that you don't need to peel the squash first, but if it works like you're saying it does, I'm all for it! I'm sure leaving the peel on adds extra health benefits as well. Very cool. Plus all the good stuff in the news lately regarding coconut milk has me anxious to try this soup asap! Nice post!

Elle said...

This looks and sounds amazing! So you don'[t have to peel the squash?? Who knew!

Megan said...

I like the Asian twist to a butternut squash soup. I don't do much Asian but these flavors sound so fresh and tasty. Very interesting!

grace said...

this marks the first time i've seen a butternut squash soup with texture--bravo!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love the coconut/ginger/lemongrass flavours with a butternut soup. So rich and fragrant! I like the idea of adding rice to it too.

Lori said...

Bookmarking this one. It sounds so great. I love all those Asian flavors and I really enjoyed congee during our trip in SE Asia.

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