What do you pair with pumpkin beer? Many times the beer is served by itself as an appetizer or it ends up being paired with something that doesn’t entirely complement the subtle sweetness and spice. We pondered on this pairing dilemma since finishing our home brewed pumpkin beer and finally came up with this Thai butternut squash soup. Like the beer, this soup is a little sweet and spicy…the sweetness comes from the butternut squash and coconut milk and the heat comes from Thai curry paste. The soup and the beer incorporate autumn and winter flavors while still having an exotic flair and the flavors in the beer and soup are accented and magnified by each other. Plus, they are both orange and perfect for a cold winter night.
We thought that pairing this sweet and spicy soup with our fall/winter beer was a perfect match. The pumpkin pie spices of the beer complimented the spices in the soup while still staying light enough to wash down the soup. There is nothing like a nice hot soup and a strong aromatic beer to settle in on a cold winter night!
Butternut Squash Thai Soup:
Thai curry butternut squash soup
2 butternut squashes, each 1 1/2 to 2 lb.
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbs. Thai red curry paste
1 can light coconut milk
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prick each squash with the tip of a knife so it will not explode when it bakes. Place the whole squashes on a baking sheet and roast until they feel somewhat soft to the touch and a knife penetrates the skin easily, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds and fibers. Scoop out the pulp into a bowl and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and carrot and cook until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute more. Add the roasted squash, broth and the 1/2 tsp. salt, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Remove from the heat.
Put the curry paste in a small bowl and stir in the coconut milk until well blended.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk mixture. Heat the soup until just hot and adjust the seasoning with salt. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and serve immediately.