Party squash soup

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4

  • 1¼ litres organic chicken or vegetable stock

  • 6-7 lime leaves

  • 3 fresh red chillies, deseeded

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 large thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled

  • 3 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and squashed with the back of a knife

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander

  • olive oil

  • 1 heaped teaspoon five-spice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 large butternut or acorn squash, halved, deseeded and cut into 1 inch chunks

  • 200 g basmati rice, washed

  • 2 x 400 ml tinned light coconut milk

  • juice of 3-4 limes

  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced, optional

Get a high-sided pan or wok on a medium-high heat to get nice and hot, and pour your stock into a small pan on a low heat to get warm. To make your fragrant soup base, add the lime leaves, chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Chop the top few leaves off your bunch of coriander and pop to one side, then add the rest to the processor and blitz for 30 seconds or so until fairly fine. With the processor still running, add a few good lugs of olive oil, the five-spice and ground cumin. Tip this mixture straight into your hot pan, you can add a splash of stock to loosen it if you want, and fry and stir for a couple of minutes so it starts smelling fantastic. Add your sliced onion, then cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes.



Add the squash to the pan and stir well, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the squash is lovely and soft. At this point, add the rice and give it a really good stir. If it looks a bit dry, you can add a splash of water here. Continue to simmer for about 8 minutes until the rice is almost cooked, then add the coconut milk and bring back to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes until hot through and thickened a little. I like to squash up some of the squash at this point too.



Take the pan off the heat, give it a good stir, then taste and season carefully with salt and pepper. To give it a bit of twang add the lime juice – the amount you need will depend on how juicy your limes are, so keep tasting it as you go. Scatter with more sliced fresh chilli and your reserved coriander leaves before serving.



If you're making this for a party, what I like to do is to hack the top off a massive pumpkin, scoop out the insides, then bake the shell in the oven for 40 minutes at 100ºC/220ºF/gas ¼. You can then use this as a receptacle for your hot soup, and as long as it's an inch or so thick, it should keep warm for a good hour or so. Have it sitting out at the party with a load of little cups and bowls lined up next to it and a bunch of lime wedges, and let everyone help themselves!

Nutritional Information

Party squash soup

With creamy coconut milk, zingy lime and a chilli kick

0 foodies cooked this
This spicy, warming and wholesome butternut squash soup is just what you need in winter
Serves 4
1h (plus baking the pumpkin shell)
Super easy
Method

I like to think of this as a happy soup. The amazing heat from the chilli will really get your endorphins going and the rice is so comforting. It's just what you need in the cold winter months. The secret to making it so good is to really work the seasoning at the end, and pimp it up with some beautiful fresh lime juice. You can vary it by using noodles instead of rice, or adding some pulled chicken or sweetcorn, but as it stands, this is a great veggie dish.

Get a high-sided pan or wok on a medium-high heat to get nice and hot, and pour your stock into a small pan on a low heat to get warm. To make your fragrant soup base, add the lime leaves, chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Chop the top few leaves off your bunch of coriander and pop to one side, then add the rest to the processor and blitz for 30 seconds or so until fairly fine. With the processor still running, add a few good lugs of olive oil, the five-spice and ground cumin. Tip this mixture straight into your hot pan, you can add a splash of stock to loosen it if you want, and fry and stir for a couple of minutes so it starts smelling fantastic. Add your sliced onion, then cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the squash to the pan and stir well, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the squash is lovely and soft. At this point, add the rice and give it a really good stir. If it looks a bit dry, you can add a splash of water here. Continue to simmer for about 8 minutes until the rice is almost cooked, then add the coconut milk and bring back to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes until hot through and thickened a little. I like to squash up some of the squash at this point too.

Take the pan off the heat, give it a good stir, then taste and season carefully with salt and pepper. To give it a bit of twang add the lime juice – the amount you need will depend on how juicy your limes are, so keep tasting it as you go. Scatter with more sliced fresh chilli and your reserved coriander leaves before serving.

If you're making this for a party, what I like to do is to hack the top off a massive pumpkin, scoop out the insides, then bake the shell in the oven for 40 minutes at 100ºC/220ºF/gas ¼. You can then use this as a receptacle for your hot soup, and as long as it's an inch or so thick, it should keep warm for a good hour or so. Have it sitting out at the party with a load of little cups and bowls lined up next to it and a bunch of lime wedges, and let everyone help themselves!

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 609 30%
  • Carbs 64.4g 25%
  • Sugar 15.9g 18%
  • Fat 29.6g 42%
  • Saturates 14.7g 74%
  • Protein 17.5g 39%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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