This is a great dairy-free (and cholesterol-free, too) soup in its own right, but a drizzle of Asian-spiced maple syrup adds a wonderfully unexpected kick and dramatic red flourish. The recipe comes from the Birchwood Cafe Cookbook (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95).

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender but not brown.

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  • Add squash, cider and stock. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until squash is very tender. Stir in coconut milk and maple syrup. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. (An immersion blender works, too.) Return soup to the pan, adding more liquid as desired. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with a swirl of Sambal-Maple Syrup.

Sambal Maple Syrup

In a screw-top jar, combine 1/4 cup pure maple syrup and 1/4 cup Asian chili paste (sambal oelek). (Look for this spicy condiment in the Asian aisle of large supermarkets.) Store in the refrigerator and use to drizzle on soup or roasted vegetables, or as a glaze for meats.

Nutrition Facts

280 calories; 12 g total fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 534 mg sodium. 44 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein;

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