Several weeks ago, I took a trip to Cost Plus World Market, which has quickly become one of my favorite stores to frequent when I’m feeling daring enough to make the journey up to Buckhead, and have some extra money burning a hole in my pocket. For those of you who have never been, I’d describe it as a combination of Trader Joes and Pier 1. There is so much to look at; I could easily spend the majority of an afternoon shopping up and down the aisles. Drew and I did a bit of our Christmas shopping there and I don’t think I’ve ever had to pull him out of a store like that. I’m able to find spices, sauces and baking ingredients that I can’t pick up at our local Kroger. They also have a great selection of unique pillows, throws and home décor that I can definitely see us buying once we move into a house. On my most recent trip I bought coconut milk and yellow curry sauce. I’d never cooked with them before, but I love Thai food and was determined to try making my own at home. And after all, I’m supposed to be broadening my culinary horizons, remember?
After finding a recipe online for a butternut squash soup, I adapted it a bit to fit what I had in the pantry and my personal taste preferences. The soup was cooking in the crockpot all yesterday afternoon and by the time dinner rolled around, I was ready to attack that pot with a giant spoon. I’d intended to make a big batch and eat it for my lunches at work all this week, but I couldn’t resist sneaking a spoonful before packing it away. It was absolutely delicious. I’m pretty proud of this one. Granted, it’s pretty hard to screw up when you just throw a bunch of ingredients together and let it cook all day, but I’m glad I stepped out of the box and made something completely new to me. Not sure if Drew would be a fan of this one, even if he is a fan of Thai food; I can just hear him asking, “But where’s the meat?”
In addition to the soup, I also made another batch of the banana oatmeal raisin “cookies” that I blogged about in this post. This time, however, I just poured the batter into a baking dish and baked it all together like a casserole. Even though the smells from the soup and casserole weren’t exactly complimentary, the apartment felt warm and cozy, which was very welcoming after a cold morning run with snow flurries. Now that it’s March, I’m eager for this winter weather to go away and Spring to arrive. My flip-flops are reading and waiting.
Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup
Makes 1 large batch
Ingredients:1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 can coconut milk
1/3 cup yellow curry sauce/paste
4 cups water
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 Tbs. ground ginger
Add all ingredients in a large crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours. You can use and immersion blender if you want a smoother, creamier soup but I liked it a bit thicker. Garnish with crushed peanuts and cilantro, or serve over basmati rice, naan or pita bread.