A spicy broth brimming with Thai flavors. If you don’t have red curry paste, you can improvise with curry powder mixed with oil and adding a dash or two of red pepper flakes. Soy sauce mixed with a little dulse or other powdered sea vegetable and a pinch or two of brown sugar can sub for fish sauce. Most proteins will work here, cooked or raw. You’ll have to make the call whether to cook first or not, or just add to the soup. Seafood you could just add in near the end, but ground beef I cook up with the onions. Greens such as kale would go in along with the broth, bok choi or spinach towards the end. If you have the ingredients on hand, this is a quick and flavorful meal.

2 T vegetable oil, butter or ghee (I used coconut oil.)
3/4 c sliced onion (halve onion, then make half moon slices)
1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t fresh, peeled, grated ginger
2 T red curry paste
3 c (peeled) diced winter squash
4 c broth, stock; or broth or stock mixed with water
1 can coconut milk
3 T fish sauce
3 c finely chopped greens
2 T lime juice
fresh, chopped cilantro or basil, for garnish, optional

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, if using, and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes, until no longer pink. Stir in the garlic, ginger, curry paste and winter squash. Sauté for a few minutes until the garlic and ginger are fragrant.

2. Add the broth, coconut milk, and fish sauce. If you are using kale add it here. Bring to a simmer. Don’t let it boil too hard or the coconut milk will separate. Simmer until the squash is tender. Just before this occurs, add in bok choi or spinach, if using those greens.

3. Taste for seasonings. Stir in lime juice. Serve, garnished with cilantro, if using.