This soup balances the creamy sweetness of the Butternut with aromatic Thai spices, tangy lemon, and cilantro.  You can also make it by peeling and dicing the butternut and then cooking in the broth, but roasting the squash is easily and adds depth of flavor.

Heat the oven to 400.  Carefully cut 1 Butternut in half lengthwise and then place face-down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

While the squash is cooking, trim and clean 1-2 Leeks, then slice into 1″ julienne strips.  You want 2 C. loosely packed.  If you have extra leeks, you can roast some in the oven to use as a topping (see note below).

Saute the leeks in 1 T. coconut oil in a large, heavy bottom pot or a wok until soft.  When they are soft, add 1 t. up to 2 T. thai red curry paste (depending on your tolerance for heat — you can always add more later) and saute for another minute.  Add 1 can of Thai Coconut milk, then fill the can with water, stir well, and add the water to the pot as well.  Bring to a boil, then simmer and cover while the squash bakes.

When the squash is completely soft and the liquid it releases has begun to caramelize, remove from the oven and invert the halves so that they can cool more quickly.  Scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard.

Once the squash is cool enough to touch, use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh into a measuring cup.  You want to add 4 to 6 C. to the soup, depending on whether you prefer it thicker or more brothy.  Stir in and then use an immersion blender to puree some or all of it to get the texture right.  Fully pureed it will be silky smooth; less pureed and it will be a little more stew-y.

Add 1-2 T. Thai fish sauce or soy sauce and 3-4 T. lemon juice, to taste.  Serve topped with chopped Cilantro and crispy Leeks (optional).

To make crispy roasted leeks, simply toss 1 C. or more of thinly sliced Leeks with salt and oil to coat, then fry or oven-roast in a small skillet until they are completely crispy — taking care not to burn them.