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Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut and Ginger
© Kirsten Strecker

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut and Ginger

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 50 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6 to 8
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

Jeanette Peabody, the chef at Hamiltons' at First & Main in Charlottesville, Virginia, makes this luscious, slightly sweet soup with butternut squash from Dave Matthews's Best of What's Around and coconut milk instead of heavy cream. The coconut milk gives the soup a silky texture and a hint of exotic nuttiness.

  1. 2 large butternut squash (5 pounds total)—halved lengthwise, peeled and seeded
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  6. 1 leek, white and tender green part only, thinly sliced
  7. 1 shallot, finely chopped
  8. 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon curry powder
  10. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  11. 6 cups water
  12. 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  13. 1 thyme sprig
  14. Coconut shavings, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the squash, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Fill each cavity with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter; season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender; cut into large pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, leek, shallot, ginger and curry powder and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned. Add the wine and cook until evaporated.
  3. Add the cooked squash, water, coconut milk and thyme sprig. Simmer over moderately low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Discard the thyme sprig. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the coconut shavings and serve.
Make Ahead The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Notes An immersion blender has a long handle and a whirring blade at the bottom that allows you to puree soups right in the pot. Immersion blenders eliminate the need to transfer soup from the pot to a blender and back again. Plus, they're easy to clean. Braun makes a number of good immersion blenders, and we also like Cuisinart's Quick Prep model. Be sure to keep the immersion blender submerged while it's running, or you'll spray soup all over your kitchen!
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