Butternut Squash & Coconut soup with Shrimp

Now that fall is really and truly here, we crave warming dishes. Savor this Thai-inspired soup with a base of creamy coconut milk, rich butternut squash, a hint of spicy peppers and succulent shrimp. For a vegan alternative, you can substitute the shrimp for diced medium firm organic tofu and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
Cooking time/temp: 
30 minutes

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, about 4 cups
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium gluten-free chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon s Thai red curry paste to enhance taste
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in curry paste, sugar and salt and cook 1 minute longer.
  4. Stir in squash, broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, 20-25 minutes.
  6. Puree in a food blender or food processor.
  7. Return to the pot and stir in shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  8. Stir in cilantro, sprinkle with coconut and serve with lime wedges on the side.