© David Loftus
squash laksa soup
Spice things up with this delicious Malay dish.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Halve the squash, deseed, then cut into 8 slices or chunks (skin on) and put into a roasting tray. Bash up the dried chilli and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar. Sprinkle over the squash, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes.
Finely chop or whizz the chillies, garlic, ginger and coriander stalks in a food processor. Add the sesame oil, lime juice, zest and fish sauce and whizz to a thin paste.
Heat a large pan or wok. Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and quickly stir in the paste. Cook for about a minute before adding the coconut milk and chicken stock.
Turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste – you may need to add fish sauce, lime juice or a bit of salt and pepper.
Add the noodles to the soup, simmer for a few minutes, then divide between 4 bowls. Break over 2 pieces of squash. If you like, top with sliced red chilli and cress.
Tip: For a quick fix, use a good laksa paste instead of making your own.
• 1 butternut squash
• 1 dried red chilli
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• 2–3 fresh red chillies, deseeded
• 3 cloves of garlic
• a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
• a large bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks reserved
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 limes, zested and halved
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 2 x 400ml tins of unsweetened coconut milk
• 300ml chicken stock, preferably organic
• 200g rice noodles
• optional: 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
• optional: cress, to serve