1 butternut squash (about 2lb)
2 T light sesame oil
1 lg onion, diced
1 heaping T peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 t crushed Aleppo pepper
1 t ground turmeric
1/2 c cilantro stems or leaves, chopped, plus cilantro sprigs to finish
1 15-oz can light coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
1/2 c white or brown basmati rice, cooked
1-2 t coconut butter
2 T white miso
Cut the squash crosswise into 2 pieces just where the rounded seed end begins. Cut the rounded end in half lengthwise and start it steaming over simmered water while you go on to deal with the neck of the squash.
Peel the neck and slice it in half crosswise, then slice each half lengthwise into slabs about 3/8 inch thick. Cut the lengths into strips and then into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat the oil into soup poot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, squash, and ginger, stir to coat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Add the pepper, turmeric, chopped cilantro, and 1.5t salt. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the coconut milk and 3 c water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the squash is tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, return to the seed end of the squash. As soon as it is tender, lift the pieces out onto your counter, scrape out hte seeds, and scoop out the flesh. Puree the flesh with 1 c of the liquid from the soup, plus extra water or coconut milk if needed to achieve a good consistency. Stir the puree into the soup. Taste for salt and season with the lime juice, to taste.
Toss the rice with the coconut butter to taste. Just before serving, dilute the miso in a little of the soup liquid, mashing until smooth, then stir it into the soup. Heat the soup, keeping it just below a boil, then ladle it into bowls. Add a little rice to each bowl, and finish with cilantro sprigs.
(From Deborah Madison's book Vegetable Literacy)