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BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP w/ COCONUT - RECIPE COURTESY LORENA GARCIA

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Uploaded on Sep 29, 2011

Soup for a meal? Yes!
This recipe, created by famed chef Lorena Garcia, in her new book, New Latin Classics, adds a spontaneous Latin flare to a classic dish.
The love and care put into this soup will be captured in every spoonful as smiles fill up faces.
The sweet taste of the butternut squash mixed with the veggie puree is so yummy and what an amazing first course to any meal!
Enjoy this and many other amazing recipes that can be found in Lorena's new cookbook.
This is a wonderful way to get the holiday get togethers started and adds a festive look to your table.
Recreate and enjoy this super yummy and easy recipe that will be loved by all.

Recipe courtesy of Lorena Garcia

1 lrg butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 lrg yellow onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced crosswise into 1-inch lengths
2 celery stalks, sliced crosswise into 1-inch lengths
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed
1 lrg zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 1-inch lenghts
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine (such as pinot grigio)
5 cups chicken broth or store-bought chicken or vegetable broth
1 15-oz can light coconut milk
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon toasted, shredded coconut (optional)

Whipping this soup in the blender adds body and makes the naturally creamy butternut squash puree even lighter. For an extra hit of coconut flavor, add 1/2 cup shaved unsweetened coconut to the blender along with the soup (strain the soup after pureeing for a super-smooth texture)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Place the butternut squash on the prepared baking sheet, season with the salt and pepper, and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast until lightly caramelized and a paring knife easily slides into a piece of squash, about 1 hour. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool.

3. Melt the butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks, lemongrass, zucchini, bay leaves, and roasted squash and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften and turn golden brown around the edges, 8 to 10 mintues.

4. Pour in the white wine and bring it to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Once the wine is mostly evaporated, pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until all the vegetables are soft, 10 to 12 mintues. Turn off the heat and discard the lemongrass and the bay leaves. Set the soup aside to cool for 20 minutes.

5. Transfer one-half of the vegetables and the broth to a blender jar. Cover and pulse a few times to release the steam. Add one-half of the coconut milk and puree the mixture until it's completely smooth. Transfer the soup to a clean pot. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and broth, and coconut milk. Bring the soup back to a simmer over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Divide the soup among eight bowls and serve sprinkled with cilantro and toasted coconut (if using).

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