Your Easy Weeknight Recipe

This Thai Butternut Squash and Peanut Soup from the Half-Baked Harvest Cookbook is the perfect easy go-to for a Wednesday night. Here’s how to master it…

Coconut Rice

1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk

1 cup uncooked jasmine or black rice

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced or grated

1 (1-inch) knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 stalk lemongrass, tender white inner core only, minced

2 scallions, chopped

3½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

3 cups cubed butternut squash

⅓ cup creamy peanut butter

2 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime

2 cups baby kale

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled, and sliced or chopped (see “How to Peel and Cut a Fresh Mango,” page 38), for garnish

⅓ cup chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish

Fresh mint, Thai basil, and/or sliced Fresno chiles, for garnish

MAKE THE COCONUT RICE. Combine the coconut milk and 1 cup of water in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then add the rice, salt, and coconut flakes. Stir to combine, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE SOUP. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium. When it shimmers, add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and scallions. Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant, being sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Slowly add the broth and the squash. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from the heat and let the soup cool slightly.

Carefully transfer the soup to a blender or food processor, working in batches, if necessary, and blend until completely smooth. Return the soup to the pot over medium heat. Add the peanut butter, curry paste, fish sauce, coconut milk, and lime juice and stir to combine. When the soup is smooth and creamy, add the kale and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are hydrated and tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cilantro and basil. Divide the soup among four bowls and add a scoop of coconut rice to each. Garnish with mango, then add chopped peanuts, fresh mint, Thai basil, and/or a few slices of chile.

Recipes reprinted from Half Baked Harvest Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Tieghan Gerard. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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