This soup's got it all: the daring, sophisticated scrumptiousness of Thai flavors, which my kids openly love, along with the texture, sweetness, and orange comfort of baby food, which they secretly remain partial to. Don't tell them I told you.
Yields 9 cups
Heat oven to 400. Halve squash lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds and stringy gunk. Line a baking sheet with foil, grease it with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and roast squash, cut sides down, until it is very soft, 45 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne. (For more authentic Thai ingredients, replace the zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne with a teaspoon of red curry paste and 3 to 4 Kaffir lime leaves.) Stir briskly until it's sizzling and fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Add salt, sugar, broth, and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer.
If the squash isn't done, cover broth mixture and turn off heat; otherwise, add the squash (after scraping or scooping it out of the peel), and simmer for 15 minutes.cooking