Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

A twist on traditional butternut soup, with coconut milk to up the flavor ante. To safely cut through butternut squash, I use a somewhat unconventional method. I place a knife on the length of the squash, and gently tap the back of the knife with a mallet. The knife slides right through with no risk of nicking my fingers. Don’t use your most expensive knife for this kitchen hack, but do use your sharpest.

1 TBS olive oil

1 small onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 TBS minced fresh ginger

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups water

1 tsp salt

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 sweet potato

1 russet potato

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 can coconut milk

Sour cream, for garnish

Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add garlic and ginger. Cook until softened. Add stock, water, salt, squash, potatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove bay leaf. Stir in coconut milk and heat through. Puree in batches in food processor or use an immersion blender to puree. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Gary: A richer, more textured soup with earthy notes from the squash would call for a flavorful white wine, such as an unoaked Chardonnay; look to Washington State, California, Ohio or the Mâcon region of France. Soave with its texture and moderated acidity would be a good pairing, as would a white from Italy’s Campania region (Fiano or Greco) if you want to echo the earthiness of the soup.

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