Thai Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, and Carrot Soup

I want to start by saying that this is not my recipe, even though I really wish it were. I wish I could have come up with this amazingly delicious creation, but alas it was a Pinterest find from this food blog (which also has a ton of other yummy looking recipes, by the way). 

As with most things from Pinterest, this particular recipe has sat on my board just waiting to be made. I finally got around to making it and I can’t believe I waited so long! It was so yummy. It’s a bit spicy and a bit sweet. It’s creaminess comes from the coconut milk which absolutely makes this dish. The toasted peanuts and pumpkin seeds on top are the icing on the cake (so to speak). 

This soup is perfect for this time of year as the nights get colder and colder. 

This was pretty much at my maximum for spice level, so I didn’t add the siracha the original recipe called for, but you can if you want. You could also probably use less red curry paste if you wanted to tone down the spice a little too. 

I also didn’t make the squash seeds because I used precubed squash from Trader Joe’s (two bags, if that’s what you decide to do as well). Using the precubed made this recipe even easier. I did have some peanuts and pumpkin seeds on hand so I just used that. 

Thai Butternut Squash Soup (as adapted from Carlsbad Cravings)

3 tablespoons coconut oil (may substitute olive oil)

1 sweet onion, diced

1/4 cup red curry paste

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (I used the dried ginger powder, but only about 1/4 tablespoon since you use less dried than fresh)

8 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups uncooked butternut squash peeled, cut into 1”cubes, seeds separated

1 large sweet potato peeled, cut into 1”cubes

3 medium carrots peeled and chopped

4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 14 oz. can coconut milk 

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon dried basil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Sriracha/Asian hot chili sauce to taste (optional)

Peanuts and pumpkin seeds for garnish 

Melt coconut oil in a large sauté pan, soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When oil is hot, add, onions and sauté until onions are soft. Add red curry paste, red pepper flakes, ginger and garlic; stir to combine with onions; saute for 3 minutes. 


Add squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and chicken stock. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 


Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
While the veggies are simmering, add your peanuts and pumpkin seeds to a dry skillet and toast them up. It will only take a couple minutes so don’t walk away. You don’t need to add any seasonings unless you want to. You definitely don’t need any oils because the peanuts will release their plenty of their own. 


Once vegetables are soft, turn off the heat. Here you have a couple options: you can get out a second large pot and your blender. Purée the veggies in two or three batches in the blender until smooth and transfer each batch to the 2nd pot. Be careful not to put too much in the blender because it will explode. 

Or, you can do what I did (because I did not want to dirty another pot), and use an immersion blender. Either way, purée the softened veggies until smooth.  


Once the soup is smooth, add coconut milk, fish sauce, and basil to the soup and cook until heated through. When ready to serve, stir in 2 tablespoons lime juice. I didn’t have a lime so I skipped this step. It would probably be really good though. Taste soup and add desired amount of Sriracha, salt and pepper to taste.


To serve, garnish with roasted seeds, peanuts and cilantro (I skipped the cilantro too because, Gross).



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Thai Peanut Chicken Stir Fry 

So, here’s my thing about Thai food: it makes me nervous. For some reason, I never think I’m going to like it, but I always do. It’s weird, but it’s just one of those things.My first ever experience with Thai flavors was the Thai Chicken Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen. I know that is in no way actual Thai food, hence why I referred to it as Thai Flavors. For some reason, my senior year AP Biology teacher got us CPK for the class. Maybe it was after the AP test? I don’t really remember, but what I do remember is my friend Joey ordered the Thai Chicken Pizza and let me have some. It was so yummy and to this day, that’s what I get whenever I go to CPK.

Fast forward many years later, when my friend Bon took my husband and me to a place called Wild Thai. That was the only time I’d ever had actual Thai food. He ordered us chicken penang curry (I think I spelled that right) and it was absolutely delicious. We went back a few times after that.

I don’t eat Thai or make it often (though I did a really delicious shrimp dish on this very blog), but I do love the flavor combinations. The sweet and spicy, salty and citrusy. Thai cuisine really does have a great flavor profile.

I found this recipe in my Vitamix cookbook. Have I not sung the praises of Vitamix enough? I love it almost as much as my slow cooker…

Anyway, it is very easy to throw together, is actually quite healthy, and can be altered to your liking. I used chicken, but you could probably use shrimp, and you could put all different kinds of veggies in it. You could probably put only veggies in it and it would be delicious as a vegetarian option as well.

I added more vegetables than the recipe calls for. Also, according to my husband, it could have used more spice, but he has an unnatural tolerance for spice. I thought it was perfect, but you could probably add more jalapeno or even hot sauce at the end if you want. I even had my kids give it a try and they liked it, so who’s going to say no to that?

The recipe also says to serve over rice, but I served it over those spinach noodles I made. To each his own.

Recipe from the Vitamix Cookbook

16 oz can coconut milk
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed
1 cup cocktail peanuts
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in small cubes
1 bell pepper, cut into small pieces
Any other veggies you want
cooked rice or pasta for serving

In a blender (I forgot to take pictures of the blender, but I’m sure you’ll get it just fine), add the coconut milk, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, jalapeno, and peanuts. Blend until smooth. (If using the Vitamix, set to Smoothie program and let finish).

Chop your veggies and chicken.

Put the vegetable oil in a hot skillet and add the chicken. When almost cooked through, add the veggies and saute until soft.

Add about a cup of sauce to the pan and let simmer to warm through.

Serve with rice or noodles. You can add more sauce and chopped peanuts to the top.


This is really, really good!  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to heat up some leftovers!

Dish # 6: Chu Chee Shrimp (Thailand)

I am happy to report that this one totally made up for the semi-disaster of the last recipe.

I first heard about this dish while I was perusing the book 1001 Foods to Die For (which, if anyone feels so inclined, I would welcome as a gift). It is essentially a Thai shrimp curry and it is basic and easy and delicious.

In Thailand, shrimp or prawns are most often used for this curry, but you can also find it made with fish or scallops or a combination of seafood. Fun Fact: it is named Chu Chee because that is the sound the sauce makes when it is boiling.

I saw many different recipes for this dish, some were more complicated than others, but they all probably lead to the same end result: a slightly sweet and slightly spicy bowl of goodness.

2T canola oil
2T red curry paste
1 cup coconut milk
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined; tales removed
juice from 1/2 lime
2T fish sauce
3T brown sugar

In a large skillet or wok over high heat, add the canola oil and curry paste and mix together. Add 1/2 the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook until pink.

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Once the shrimp is cooked through, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish sauce the brown sugar, and the lime juice. Note that all the recipes I read called for Palm Sugar. I didn’t have any palm sugar, so I just used brown sugar.

Also worth noting in this stage, the fish sauce does not smell good, but trust me, it is essential to Thai cooking and it adds great flavor. A little goes a long way.

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Once everything is done and you’re ready to serve, top with some Thai basil (Mediterranean basil is fine too), sliced chiles, if you want, and serve with rice.

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I probably could have added more sauce to my serving, but it was yummy, yummy! My one-year-old even loved the rice. She devoured it!