Serve this full-flavored soup as a first course, or as a smooth vegetable stew over rice with a side of cooked greens. We've used luxurious full-fat coconut milk, which yields a decadent, silky soup. You can use light coconut milk, if you prefer, for a soup with less body (and only 1g saturated fat per serving).
Heat a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger; sauté 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, coconut milk, salt, red pepper, and squash; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally.
Place squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Stir in juice. Garnish with additional pepper and cilantro leaves, if desired.
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