You don’t have to use a Coquine squash here – butternut or any other meaty variety will do- but the animated colour was just so bright and vibrant to resist. The sun was finally glowing today to mark the 1st March (already! where has time gone?) so it seemed appropriate to reflect this.
This soup is like a bowl of spicy chilli flecked lava with wonderful flavours. Butternut squash is the king of soup ingredients I think as it creates such a wonderful silky texture. Feel free to use half stock and half coconut milk here for a deeper coconut flavour and an even creamier texture. I didn’t purely as I didn’t have enough to hand.
NOTE: For both garnish and if using in addition to stock, use a thick good quality coconut milk. The cheap varieties in the ethnic sections of many supermarkets are always better value and are thicker and creamier.
- 1 large squash
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli (medium hot or half a hot one…depends on taste), chopped
- 3-4cm piece ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
- 1 fresh Kaffir lime leaf
- 700ml hot chicken stock
- 1 lime
- Bunch coriander
- Coconut milk (to garnish or use 350ml stock and 350ml coconut milk. and half coconut milk for a creamier soup)
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
- Heat a splash of oil in a saucepan and gently soften the onion for about 5 minutes.
- Once soft, add the garlic, ginger, chilli and mustard seeds and fry for a few more minutes until the flavours have combined.
- Meanwhile, peel and deseed the squash reserving the seeds. Chop into chunks and add to the pan and combine with the onion mix.
- Add the stock (if you like you can use half stock half coconut milk) and the lime leaf and some seasoning and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 15minutes until the squash is soft.
- Remove from the heat and discard the lime leaf. Blend until fine and smooth with a hand blender. Add the juice from the lime and all but a handful of coriander and bend again.Taste to check the seasoning and keep warm.
- Heat a frying pan until hot. Remove any pith from the reserved seeds and fry in a tsp of oil for a few minutes. Add the desiccated coconut and fry until toasted. Remove from the heat.
- To serve, fill warm soup bowls with the soup, drizzle with some coconut milk and garnish with the toasted seeds and extra coriander.
I served mine with some warm charred flatbreads (see here) spiked with Nigella seeds and smothered in butter.