This sweet and savory butternut squash soup is layered with traditional Thai flavors and is amazingly easy to make in the Instant Pot or stovetop! This soup has a flavorful curry base to fire your tastebuds in just the right way.
The time has finally come! In less than 24 hours, my sister and brother-in-law will be meeting their 3-year-old son, whom they have named "Kai" (meaning: "bringer of light/to rejoice"), in Thailand for the very first time. I am so happy/excited/nervous for them and can't imagine how they must be feeling! Their journey to adopt started almost 2 years ago and has really been nothing short of a miracle story. I'm so thankful for the courage and bravery God has given them throughout the journey!
VideoIn honor of this new chapter in their lives, I'm posting a recipe today that my sister and I developed during our week of getting their house ready and making meals for the freezer when they returned. The recipe was inspired by this one from Kylee Cooks, and we adjusted the flavor profile to suit our tastes and give it a deep, golden color. Our meal prep endeavors involved making several freezer-friendly dishes that had Thai and Asian flavor profiles - we are not quite sure what Kai will want to eat upon arriving in America but hopefully so of what we made will taste good to him!
You'll be surprised at how quick and simple this is to make - it comes together in a snap if you can just get that butternut squash cut up! Cutting up a butternut squash is really the most intimidating part of preparing any recipe that calls for it. The key to doing it successfully is to determine how you are going to cut it before you start AND to have a good, sharp knife (I own and love this one) with a stable cutting base. Here's a short video showing you exactly how I cut up a butternut squash:
Be sure to check out my video for how to make this soup up at the top of this post and let me know in the comments below if you decide to try it! If you love Thai-inspired recipes, be sure to check out my Thai Basil-Infused Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango, Easy 30-Minute Green Curry, and this Fall Pumpkin Curry with Chicken!
Kai Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 medium (about 4 pounds total) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 6 cups)
- 1 small sweet yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 quart low sodium chicken OR vegetable stock
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 3-4 tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste (depending on level of spiciness desired)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar OR maple syrup (optional; I add to taste depending on sweetness of the squash)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes depending on level of spiciness desired
- Optional garnishes: lime juice, crushed peanuts, a drizzle of coconut cream
For the Instant Pot:
- Place the squash, onion, and stock in the Instant Pot. Put the lid in place, turn the dial to “sealing” position, and press “Soup” mode. The light under the “normal” sign should light up and the timer should display “30 minutes.” If not, press “Soup” mode again until the light under “normal” lights up.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before turning the dial to “venting”. Remove lid and proceed with instructions for finishing the soup below.
For the Stove Top:
- Place the squash, onion, and stock in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high to bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the squash pieces are fork tender (not quite mush and falling apart, but very tender), about 1 - 1 ½ hours. Proceed with instructions for finishing the soup below.
Finishing the Soup:
- Stir in the coconut milk, red curry paste, sweetener (if using), salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until silky and smooth. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in batches in a blender to puree it; just use caution and let the mixture cool slightly before blending (hot liquids can often cause your blender lid to pop off while blending).
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Garnish as desired and serve hot.