Glowing Butternut Squash Soup

It’s not often that I post a recipe while I’m eating it. That’s why the photo is so utilitarian but it’s hot off the press folks and it’s a keeper, and while I have written in the past about ‘Sweet Chilli Pumpkin Soup….that recipe is more of a lazy-man’s way to spice up the usual recipe without going to too much trouble. Which is great, but this soup is a more thorough and layered approach to what you could call a Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe. Thai because the ingredients are ubiquitous in Thai cooking, pumpkin I’m not sure why, because it’s made with butternut squash.

Last week I spoke about buying yourself a pot of red curry paste for the Thai Fish Cakes. Do not delay, this product is a boon in your kitchen and can be used in anything from red curries to dhal and even pumpkin soup. This recipe can be amended to use coconut milk to make it Paleo or evaporated milk to make it lower in fat/calories. It’s up to you, and I can confirm that both will work and taste amazing. I call this recipe Glowing Butternut Squash Soup because the heat is warming not ‘hot’, it makes your mouth glow rather than making your tongue explode. Served with the shredded baby spinach, coriander and cashew nuts, you elevate this soup beyond the boring old orange goop to an exciting, textured and slightly more healthy option.

Glowing Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

1 butter nut squash, diced
1 red onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger, chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised  (you could use 2 x tsp of pre-minced lemongrass in a jar)
3 kaffir lime leaves torn (I use 1 tsp of powdered Kaffir Lime Leaf you can get from Thai & Far Eastern Foods on Maidenhead High St)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chilli, chopped
2 tbs red curry paste
1 chicken stock pod
tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sriracha sweet chilli sauce
1/2 can of coconut milk or 1 small tin of evaporated milk
Juice of 1 lime, chopped raw cashews, shredded spinach (optional)

Saute onion, garlic, chilli and squash in a large saucepan on high for 5 minutes.
Add red curry paste and saute a further 5 minutes.
Add enough water to cover the ingredients, and throw in the lemongrass and stock pod.
Simmer until the squash is cooked.
With a stick blender, puree the soup to make it smooth.
Start tweaking the flavours, add the fish sauce and sweet chilli sauce, add half a cup of chopped, fresh coriander, the evaporated milk and any of the optional extras.
Taste and then adjust the flavour to your liking. If it’s too strong, add some more milk, more sweet chilli if it’s too salty, etc.