Butternut squash soup (with an Asian vibe)

If you are reading this right now as an unconfident cook who rarely gives recipes a go, then I urge you to try this soup. It’s pretty much foolproof. I made it in my ‘jamas, very lazily and sloppily, and it turned out really well. And I don’t have a great history with soups (it’s always the easy stuff that I seem to wrangle with!). Squash is such a great vegetable to make soup out of. So velvety and easy to deal with. I don’t even peel mine, simple chop into chunks and roast with a bit of oil, add some nice flavours to go alongside, some decent stock (or even water) and there you go. I love it. You could leave out the Asian vibe (why does that sound so rude?) and go plain – just plain old squash soup – it would be superb like that.
Or up the Asian flavours with some lemongrass and chilli. I was making this with children in mind, so I served fresh chilli on top for the adults. My 7 month old loved it too. And it’s great with quick garlic toast.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients: 
1 medium sized butternut squash, cut into about 2 inch chunks, skin left on (scrape any seeds out)
2 thumbs’ worth of fresh ginger, peeled and grated very finely
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 litre of vegetable stock (make it light or even use water)
1 dessertspoon of smooth peanut butter
Juice of 1/2 lime
200ml of light coconut milk
Fresh chilli, to serve for adults
Natural or Greek yoghurt, to serve
Salt – if you are using water or homemade stock (if using shop bought stock leave it out)

To make the garlic toast:
4 pieces of stale sourdough or similar white country loaf style bread
1/2 clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 190C. 
  2. Roast your squash, skin on, with a drizzle of oil, for about 35-45 minutes, or until it’s soft (pierce or simply taste a piece) and nicely caramelising. 
  3. Meanwhile, gently sautee your onion, garlic and ginger on a low heat until it’s translucent and very soft. About 20 minutes should do. 
  4. Make your stock. 
  5. Now, whizz up your squash, stock, onions/garlic/ginger either using a stick blender or in a soup blender. You could leave it here very happily. 
  6. Pour your blended soup back into the pan. 
  7. Add your coconut milk, peanut butter and lime and bring to boil. Simmer for a few minutes. 
  8. Serve with a swirl of yoghurt and some fresh red chilli. Plus some garlic toast (toast bread, rub with garlic clove, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt). 
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