Winter squash, like an awkward teenager, can be big, clumsy, and hard to get through to...but with a little understanding, its inherent sweetness will shine. Treat pumpkins, butternut and other hard squashes like potatoes: poke them in several places with a meat fork and bake at 350 degrees until fully tender (1-2 hours). Split them open to cool a little, then remove (and reserve) the seeds. Spoon out and puree the flesh, then use it in this and other soups, and in pies and side dishes.
And what about those seeds? Rinse off the fibers in a colander, let the seeds air-dry, and toss with olive oil. Roast until crunchy then shake on sea salt while they're still warm. Serve them right away or at room temperature, for a savory, nutrition-packed snack.
Inspired by a recipe from "Crossroads Cooking" by Elisabeth Rozin (1999, Viking)
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in saucepan; add shallots, ginger and chilies. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until shallots are tender. Add 2 cups stock and squash puree. Simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. Stir in soy milk and heat through. Stir in fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Add additional soy milk, if desired, for thinner consistency). Season to taste (if you've used canned stock, take care not to add too much salt). Garnish each bowl with coconut flakes.
Copyright by Terese Allen