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Thai Squash and Coconut Milk Soup

I brought this to work for lunch and the steamy aroma of lemongrass, lime, and shallots wafted around my cubicle and down the hall. I was mid-slurp when I looked up and found five colleagues hovering around my desk demanding asking what was I eating that smelled so good. When I told them it was a Thai squash and coconut milk soup, they insisted I share the recipe asap. So here you go friends - get your squash soup on. (adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day)
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: coconut, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, kid-friendly, soy-free, spicy
Servings: 4
Author: ness

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Blender or immersion blender
  • Food Processor

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 shallots (quartered)
  • 2 red or green Thai chiles (or serrano chiles, or jalapeƱo peppers, seeds removed)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (center white part only, smashed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (stems removed)
  • 4 cups peeled squash (either acorn or butternut, chopped into 2 cm cubes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Garnish:

  • Thai basil leaves, chopped cilantro, fresh limes, green onions, and/or chopped Thai chiles

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the shallots, chiles, lemongrass and 1/4 cup water and pulse until a paste forms.
  • Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Heat a large pot on medium heat and add the spice paste and thick creamy part of the coconut milk to the pot. Stir together and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The paste will get quite fragrant and bubbly.
  • Add the remaining coconut milk, stock, lime leaves and squash and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  • Remove the lime leaves and discard. Either blend the soup in a blender in batches or use immersion blender to blend until the soup is nice and creamy. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and serve with garnishes.