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This recipe started out as an Indian inspired chicken coconut curry for my husband.  Over time, I have changed the recipe up, been inspired by Heidi Swanson’s (of http://101cookbooks.com and her cookbook Supernatural Cooking)
curries.  I made some more tweaks, added red curry paste, omitted the chicken, boldly added more spices,  and added a whole mess of vegetables to it to make it vegan and really satisfying.  It also helps that it is really easy and is also really beautiful to look at.  It’s great on it’s own but I added some pan fried firm tofu cubes to it and some fresh herbs.  It would also make a great sauce or base for salmon or any other kind of roasted or grilled fish.  I have even eaten it cold.  Basmati rice or quinoa would be a great addition.  It is super creamy.  It confirms to me how much I love coconut milk.  I am going to share the recipe with my millions of fans soon! 

Creamy Curried Butternut Squash

1-2 tblsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 inch of ginger, grated
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed
2-3 tsp. red curry paste
2 tsp. cumin
pinch of tumeric
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. harissa paste or hot red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 can coconut milk
1 can water

In a large saucepan (I broke out my faux Le Creuset for this!) heat the oil over medium high heat.  When shimmering, add in the onion and saute till transluscent.  Then add the garlic and ginger and stir till fragrant.  Add the butternut squash, red pepper, and carrot and stir till coated with oil.  Add the red curry paste, cumin, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, tumeric, harissa paste/hot red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.  Continue stirring till it’s smelling very nicely.  Add the coconut milk and water.  Bring it up to a boil, cover, and let simmer for roughly 30 minutes.  In two batches puree till silky smooth in a blender or use your immersion blender.  Don’t forget to remove the middle of the top of your blender to let some steam escape.  Cover with a towel and blend.  This will prevent you from getting scalded and your kitchen from being covered in soup!

Pan Fried Tofu

1 block extra firm tofu, drained, cut in half, wrapped in paper towels and weighted to remove moisture.  Then cut it into slabs or cubes
1 tablespoon coconut oil

In a non stick pan, heat the oil till hot and then add the tofu (you might need to do it in two batches) and fry till nice and golden brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drain and toss with a handful of cilantro and chopped basil.  Serve on top of the soup.

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