No, there's no Noreaster in our parts but we're weather whimps here in California so El Niño has us shaking in our mocassins. Which means we can't stop, won't stop with soup. And more soup. The Hollywood Farmers Market has had some amazing squash this winter so we've been making all sorts of creamless soups but our favorite has been this Coconut Miso Butternut Squash Soup — a little exotic, a lot comforting, and super easy to make.
halved and seeded
or olive oil, divided plus more for drizzling squash
peeled and grated
plus more for garnish
Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange rack in the middle. Place the squash onto a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash until knife tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and cool until you're able to handle the squash, and then using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skin. Dissolve the miso into 2 cups of water, and set aside while the squash is cooking.
Use the quinoa as is or make it crunchy by doing the following: place a large nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the quinoa and spread out so that it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s golden brown (about 15 minutes). Pull the quinoa off the burner just as it’s golden brown then let it cool in the pan.
Heat the remaining coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and just starting to brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for two minutes, just enough to release their flavor. Add the vinegar and deglaze by scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the squash and dried chiles and stir to coat. Then add the dissolved miso, broth, and coconut milk. Stir and allow the mixture to simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Remove from the heat, discard chiles, then place the mixture into a blender or food processor to the fill line (be careful, it will be very hot!) then blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavoring as desired. Serve the soup topped with the crunchy quinoa radishes, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of coconut milk.