Serves 8 / I infuse this standard soup with toasted sesame oil, giving it an Asian flavor twist. Prep tips: Stir canned coconut milk before using. For variety, toss fresh ginger slices into the pot (remove them before blending), change the spices, add apple, or use a different nut milk. Ingredient tips: Umeboshi vinegar, made from pickled plums, adds a sweet-salty element; look for it in the Asian foods section, or substitute the same amount of lemon or lime juice.

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled
1 1/2 pounds yellow onion (2 large onions)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
Minced fresh cilantro

1. Cut squash, onion, and bell pepper into small cubes. Warm a large pot over medium heat; add oil and vegetables and toss to coat. Cook for 15 minutes; add paprika and toss. Add coconut milk, water, and sea salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are soft enough to blend into a smooth soup, about 20 minutes. (If you prepare this in a pressure cooker, warm the cooker, then add oil and vegetables and toss to coat. Cook vegetables slowly for about 15 minutes, tossing from time to time. Add paprika and toss. Add coconut milk,
2 cups water, and sea salt. Secure pressure cooker lid. Once pressure is established, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes, then bring pressure down.)
2. Blend soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Taste before seasoning. Add umeboshi vinegar. Serve with minced cilantro.


PER SERVING: 154 cal, 45% fat cal, 8g fat, 3g sat fat, 0mg chol, 2g protein, 21g carb, 4g fiber, 480mg sodium