Halloween Dinner: Coconut-Curry Butternut Soup

I love the onset of fall when I can start to eat and decorate with a sunset-autumn palette of pomegranates and pumpkins and dried leaves. We did our annual trip to Bob's Pumpkin Patch in Half Moon Bay and Ezra chose some good ones that we put on the swing by our front door.  Ezra is only 2 and still doesn't quite understand costumes and candy, but when Halloween comes, I know he'll love it. Crazy to think that at this time next year we will be dressing up 2 little boys!

We've been doing a lot of entertaining lately with my book launch plus the Jewish high holidays. After the book launch party for 100, we had a seated Rosh Hashana dinner for 20 at home (biggest we have ever done here!) then another fall potluck on the deck.  Since we have more room outdoors than in, we have to take advantage of these last warm days of early fall to be on the deck! Through all of this, I have realized that a big pot of soup goes a long way and is perfect for a fall gathering. I made a huge batch of this Coconut-Curry Butternut Soup recently and found it easy to make ahead and easy to serve for a group. If you are planning a Halloween dinner, this is perfect! I served it on a buffet in my big Dutch oven alongside toppings like cilantro, yogurt and crunchy fried Flatout Flatbread strips, and people told me they loved it.

This soup is vegan (without the yogurt topping) and serves 4-6. If you don't love curry, use half as much or omit completely. The coconut milk addition adds creaminess; the coconut flavor is very subtle. Double the recipe for a larger group.

Coconut-Curry Butternut Soup

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed (or buy pre-cut packaged chunks of butternut, about 30 oz worth- I did this and it saved so much time!)

1 large yellow onion, cubed

32 oz box of vegetable broth (1 box)

13 oz coconut milk (1 can)

1 t garlic powder

1 t curry powder

salt & pepper to taste

FOR THE SOUP: Lay out the cubed butternut and onion on a large baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400ºF for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender and a bit browned. Put this roasted mixture into a big pot (I used my dutch oven). Add all other ingredients and use a hand blender to purée the whole pot. If it seems too thick, add a little more broth or water. Simmer the pot on low, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes and serve hot. 

FOR THE GARNISH: Using Flatout Flatbread's Artisan Thin Pizza Crust, cut matchstick-sized strips from 2 sheets of flatbread. Put the strips in a skillet with a generous amount of olive oil and cook them on med/high, tossing often with a wooden spoon, until brown and crispy (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle with salt.

Top each bowl of soup with a dollop of plain yogurt, a pinch of fresh cilantro and several crunchy fried Flatout Flatbread strips. Serve hot!

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We set up everything on our bar outside for a buffet. The soup did well and stayed hot in this big Dutch oven, but you could also serve it in a slow cooker to keep it warm for a longer period of time.

We set up everything on our bar outside for a buffet. The soup did well and stayed hot in this big Dutch oven, but you could also serve it in a slow cooker to keep it warm for a longer period of time.

I tried to choose dishes in autumn colors.

I tried to choose dishes in autumn colors.

Self-serve soup bar with a ladle.

Self-serve soup bar with a ladle.

I decorated the buffet/bar with mini pumpkins, dried leaves and fall-colored flowers in small vases.

I decorated the buffet/bar with mini pumpkins, dried leaves and fall-colored flowers in small vases.

at Bob's Pumpkin Patch in Half Moon Bay with Ezra.

at Bob's Pumpkin Patch in Half Moon Bay with Ezra.

Happy Halloween!

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This post was done in partnership with Flatout Flatbread. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Forest Feast possible!