Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Silky, creamy, exploding with flavor, not to mention, bursting with nutrition — that explains this soup that just might become a staple in your fall repertoire of soups.
Pro tip: Add it to your Thanksgiving or fall family dinner menu so you can share it with loved ones. They’ll appreciate that you’re not only sharing a delicious soup with them but also that you’re looking out for their health with nutrient-packed ingredients.
Pro tip #2: Make the Panang paste ahead of time to make this dish super simple. It'll store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
5 jalapeños deseeded, cut in half, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (optional, and you could also use Thai chilis in place of jalapeno, which is what's traditionally used)
1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter (or almond butter), can be smooth, chunky or homemade
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 Tbsps of fresh, minced ginger
2 Tbsps fresh minced lemongrass
3 Tbsps minced shallots
1 Tbsps lime juice
1 Tbsp chili paste (optional)
1/4 cup vegetable broth (for sautéing vegetables)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 whole butternut squash peeled and cut into 1" cubes (approximately 6 cups)
2 Tbsps white wine vinegar
For the base of the soup
6 cups of vegetable broth
3 cups cauliflower cut into florets
1 1/2 cups chickpeas homemade or BPA-free canned, drained
4 Tbsps Panang paste (from above)
1 tsp of salt
light or full-fat coconut milk
ground black pepper
red pepper flakes
Make the Panang paste: soak the jalapeños in hot water (so they're completely covered in hot water) for 10 minutes. Once done soaking, drain the water and set the jalapeños aside.
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds: In a small stovetop pan on medium for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant, tossing occasionally.
Add the jalapenos, seeds, and remaining Panang paste ingredients to a food processor and blend until it becomes a paste. Set aside.
In a large stockpot, heat the vegetables broth on medium-high.
Add the onions and cook on medium until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the butternut squash and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. (Add a few more tablespoons of vegetable broth at a time as needed if the squash and pot start to look dry.)
Once the squash is tender, stir in the white wine vinegar and 4 tablespoons of the Panang paste. Cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the cauliflower, chickpeas, vegetable broth, and salt, if using. Bring to a boil then simmer until the cauliflower is soft, about 10-15 minutes.
With a ladle, add about 1/3 of the soup at a time to a blender, making sure there s enough liquid so it blends easily. As a safety precaution, hold the top of the blender with a cloth and be careful of the steam when you take off the lid. Blend for about a minute or until smooth.
Transfer each batch to a clean stockpot.
Once all of the soup is pureed, place it over low heat. Taste for seasoning and gently heat through.
Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, cilantro, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and peanuts, if desired.
Panang paste notes
You should only use about half of the Panang paste for this recipe. Keep it in the refrigerator for 7-10 days (and use with the second round of Creamy Thai Butternut Squash Soup!) or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.
This is the texture after I blended, scraped the sides of the blender, then blended again. I did this 3-4 times before getting this texture. If you're using red Thai chilis the Panang paste will be more of a reddish hue. If you're using jalapeños then it will be a light green color like the one pictured above. The Panang paste should be a paste-like texture (with "paste" in its name it should seem obvious, :) but sometimes a little clarification is helpful with recipes we don't make on the regular). It's a tiny bit grainy now, but once you blend it with the butternut squash and other veggies, it gets really smooth. Also, the flavors are amazing once they cook with the soup ingredients!