Butternut Squash Soup

5-6 servings
1 hour 10 minutes
Ingredients
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- small handful of cilantro, with stems, chopped
- 1 large butternut squash (3½–4 lb),  cut into ½-inch cubes
- 13.5-oz can unsweetened coconut milk, divided

- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tsp kosher salt, plus more
- lime juice​​​​​​​
Directions
1. Vigorously shake can of coconut milk for a few seconds so everything gets well mixed. Open can and set aside 3 Tbsp milk to swirl over finished soup.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium. Add onions, garlic, cilantro, red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until onion is translucent and soft, 5–7 minutes.

3. Add squash and give everything a stir to coat. Add 3 cups water, or enough to just submerge the squash, remaining coconut milk in can, and 2 tsp salt, then stir to combine. Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil.

4. Once soup is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 12–14 minutes.

5. You’re almost ready to blend! First, set up your workstation. You’ll need your pot of soup, blender, a large bowl, a ladle, and a clean kitchen towel all within arm’s reach. Using ladle, fill blender no more than halfway with equal parts broth and vegetables (if you fill it to the top, it will overflow as it blends). When you secure the blender lid, make sure there is a vent for the steam to escape. If you skip this step, the lid will blow off and you will end up with soup on every inch of your kitchen.

6. Holding the lid down with a folded kitchen towel, carefully blend soup, starting from the lowest speed and working your way up to high, until smooth and silky, 10–15 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat, working in batches, until all soup is blended.

7. Pour soup back into pot and heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until you can see steam rising from the pot (Soup loses a lot of heat in the blending process and gets lukewarm, so you'll want to warm it up). Stir in a few squirts of lime juice. Taste and add more salt if needed.

8. Divide soup among bowls. Top with a swirl of reserved coconut milk and serve.

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