Top Chef, one of my favorite competitive cooking shows, has motivated many viewers to sharpen their knives and try their hand at cooking restaurant-quality fare. 

The troubled economy has also become a significant incentive, as consumers are dining out less frequently. 

If you’re a fan of the Bravo show, you’ll appreciate our weekend recipe, which was inspired by a past season’s “quick-fire challenge.” With only 30 minutes to prepare a dish, the “cheftestants” relied on prepared broths and stocks—a shortcut on which many professional restaurant chefs rely.

That’s the case with Thai Roasted Squash Soup, a sweet and spicy dish that’s infused with traditional ethnic flavors like coconut, curry, fresh ginger and cilantro.

Prep time is 35 minutes, bake time (for the fresh vegetables) is 35 minutes, and cook time is 25 minutes. All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store. 

Thai Roasted Squash Soup

Makes 6 servings 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2” pieces (about 6 cups)
1 large sweet onion, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
3 cups Swanson certified-organic chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves 

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Stir oil and curry in “a large bowl. Add squash and onions, and toss to coat. Spread vegetables onto a 17” x 11” roasting pan.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, until vegetables are golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  4. Heat vegetables, ginger, broth and cream of coconut in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  6. Spoon 1/3 of the vegetable mixture into an electric blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.
  7. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Repeat blending process twice more with remaining vegetable mixture.
  8. Return all of the pureed mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until hot.
  9. Season to taste. Divide soup among 6 serving bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro.  

Suggested Reading

Recipe and photo courtesy of Swanson Broth