caribbean butternut squash soup

Turning 50 seems hard to imagine when you are young, but slowly it creeps up on you. Thirty something is still clearly young, and forty something is really middle age but by a stretch of the imagination you can still think you are young. However, hitting the half century mark is an inescapable sign that the young days are over. And time for a colonoscopy. Lots of bad stuff can happen down there in the second half century. Better to know as soon as possible.

Colonoscopy prep means flushing out the system the night before. Drinking a gallon of terrible stuff over a few hours time that does the job. And to make that easier, bob decided to do a primarily liquid diet the 3 days counting down to the event.

Just back from Barbados, where a Caribbean pumpkin soup recipe had caught his eye in a cookbook (which was not purchased to avoid adding to the inactive cooking library section, but an ingredient list got memorized and written down), soup seemed a good bet for the liquid diet, so it got put on the agenda. Butternut squash seemed like a good substitute for the pumpkin and the coconut milk seemed like a creamy way to avoid the fat of real cream, and it even came in a low fat version that reduced the fat even more. And the recipe had leeks, a good hook considering bob's weakness for this veggie. But caramelized and used as a topping. Hmm, easier to just throw them into the soup earlier. They were. But a special trip was required for the curry powder. Turned out that the cupboard only had cumin, one of the key ingredients of curry.

Well, the moment of truth. A little plain lowfat yogurt dribbled here and there in the bowl as a topping. bob takes a taste. The verdict: pretty good stuff. A success. We'll have to use more of this lite coconut milk in the future.


bakeable stuff
1 butternut squash, split in half lengthwise
sautee stuff
2 T butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, food processed
1/2 big leek or 1 small leek, food processed
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 medium potatoes, food processed
1 t curry
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
liquid stuff
3 c veggie broth
1 c coconut milk
topping stuff
lowfat plain yogurt


  1. Cut the butternut squash in half without stabbing yourself or slicing off important body parts. These guys are pretty hard and do not want to cooperate. Be very careful.
  2. Bake the squash placed cut side down in a baking pan at 350º for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cook until you can remove the skin and the seeds. Set aside.
  3. Sauté the onion and leek in a deep nonstick pot with the butter/oil and the salt, and when soft, add the other spices, the potato and squash and the veggie broth. Simmer for about 30 minutes so the potato will cook and a little extra softening up of the rest occurs.
  4. Add the coconut milk, adjust the spices to taste, and heat through.
  5. Serve with dollops of yogurt in each bowl, freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  1. Converted from pumpkin soup recipe in Caribbean Cooking, Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook, with nice photographs of each recipe.
  2. Thai Lite Coconut Milk produced in Thailand for Andre Prost Inc, Old Saybrook, CT 06475. Turns out they have a whole bunch of soup recipes using coconut milk. The coconut dill carrot soup looks worth trying soon.
cbntsqsp.htm: 30-oct-2002 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]