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Butternut Squash, Coconut and Chilli Soup

Butternut Squash, Coconut and Chilli Soup

It’s dreich in Edinburgh today. That means it’s grey, drizzly and overcast. When it’s like this, my mood usually matches the weather – not much energy.  But, what do we expect, it’s only June!  Seriously though, in Scotland we are used to constant variations in the weather, sometimes in the same day. We have learned to dress and eat accordingly, often at a moment’s notice.

So no summer salads today. I needed soup. Something quick and tasty with enough of a kick to wake me up. 

I also didn’t want to have to go out in the rain and shop for ingredients. Rummaging in the fridge I found half a butternut squash, several limes that I had bought for a cake but didn’t make, and red chillis, lemongrass and ginger that I bought to make Thai curry paste. With a tin of coconut milk – I’ve learned from experience to always have a tin of coconut milk in the cupboard – I had the ingredients for a spicy soup.  

The preparation took less than 10 minutes and most of that was spent peeling the butternut squash, and the cooking took 20 minutes. All in all the soup took about 30 minutes to make. With this amount you will have 2 large or 3 medium servings. 

And in case you’re not sure how to prepare fresh lemongrass (not everyone does), I have  included, at the bottom of the post, a link to a YouTube video that explains how to do it.

Butternut Squash, Chilli and Coconut Soup (Serves 2-3)

  •  450 grams butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp flavourless oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped lemongrass *
  • ½ tin coconut milk
  • 100 ml water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime and ½ a small red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced, for garnish
  1.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Over a low heat, gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes .
  3. Add the red Thai curry paste and fry for a further 1 minute, stirring
  4. Add the lemongrass and the butternut squash and fry for 2 minutes, stirring so that nothing sticks.
  5. Add the coconut milk and the water and bring nearly to the boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer gently, covered, for 20 minutes.
  7. Test the butternut squash with the point of a knife. It should be tender.
  8. Cool slightly then liquidise until smooth.
  9. Return the soup to the pan and add the lime juice
  10. Taste for seasoning. I find it does not need any salt or pepper but you can add them if you like
  11. Reheat gently then ladle the soup into heated bowls and garnish with the lime zest and fresh chilli.

 * This short video shows how to prepare lemongrass in 3 different ways depending on whether you are cooking curry, soup or stirfry.  This was new to me. Is it new to you?