Hi again, I hope you’ve had a lovely week. Well, I don’t know about you guys but when the weather’s pretty grey and cold (as it has been in Cornwall for the past few days) I crave colourful, warming and comforting food.
Spices are a wonderful addition to this soup as they add flavour, heat and are actually really good for you! During the winter season, it’s even more important to support your immune system in order to fend off colds and viruses and this recipe will help with this by giving your body a gentle boost.
The following recipe is wonderfully warming and uplifting, whilst being nourishing and satisfying. It’s one of my favourite soups as I love the creamy texture and think the sweetness of the roasted squash, red pepper and sweet potato are balanced with the sharpness of the lime and the spices. The full fat coconut milk makes it silky in texture and adds a real depth of flavour. Personally, it’s one of my favourite meals to eat during the Autumn/ Winter season and is really delicious.
I came up with this soup recipe about three years ago and wrote it down in an old copybook that I used to draft recipes in. Much to my dismay, I cannot find this little book anywhere! I’m hoping I will come across it soon. It’s really nothing pretty to look at as the edges are scuffed and worn and my handwriting’s terrible. However, it’s priceless to me. The recipes were a collection of my own I had put together (and altered and adjusted several times) over the past few years.
Anyway, I had to try to remember my old recipe when making this during the week. I almost had it spot on (much to my surprise) but added a little too much chilli, which I adjusted to a more balanced amount in the recipe! If you like it punchy, you could add another ¼ tsp chilli seeds but maybe try it first to see how you find it.
If I don’t come across my recipe book, I guess I will have to restart a new adventure of recipe writing. I’m continually reading new cookbooks and finding some truly awesome recipes online that give me tonnes of inspiration to come up with new ideas. I love to experiment and see what happens..
Spiced Butternut Squash, Red Pepper and Coconut Soup
Extra nutritional info: Vegatarian, Vegan, Refined sugar free, Dairy free, Nut free, Egg free
Serving size: 6 generous portions
1 medium butternut squash (1Kg)
1 sweet red pepper (150g)
3 medium sweet potatoes (600g)
2 medium onions (300g)
10 cloves garlic
1 chilli (including seeds)
1 inch piece fresh ginger
2x 400ml cans full fat coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
1 ½ Tbs coconut oil
500ml boiled water
3 bay leaves
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 ½ Tbs ground coriander
1Tbs ground cumin
¾ Tbs garam masala
½ Tbs turmeric
¾ Tbs smoked paprika
Generous pinch unrefined salt
Dash of coconut milk (from on of the cans in the recipe)
Pinch of smoked paprika
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F/gas 6
- Peel, deseed and cut the squash in to medium sized chunks (I find it easier to peel if I slice it first.)
- Deseed and cut the red pepper in to medium sized chunks.
- Put the chunks of squash and red pepper on a roasting tray and add about ½ Tbs coconut oil (sometimes I use rice bran oil) and season with a pinch of salt.
- Roast the squash and red pepper in the oven for about 30 minutes, until they are tender and a little ‘sticky’ but not charred.
- Whilst the squash and red pepper are roasting; dice the onions, peel and finely chop the ginger, the garlic cloves and the red chilli (omit the seeds if you prefer less spice but I love it on the hotter side.) Peel and dice the sweet potatoes.
- Melt 1Tbs of coconut oil in a large pan on a low heat, add the diced onion and fry on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until the until is translucent in colour. Add a little cold water to the pan if you feel the onion sticking as you want to sauté it gently rather than caramelise it.
- Add the chopped ginger, garlic and chilli to the pan and simmer on a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly and adding a little cold water when necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add a generous pinch of unrefined salt to the pan (I use pink Himalayan) and stir, then add the bay leaves and spice mix.
- Add a little more cold water, as you don’t want the spices to stick to the pan and burn. You want to create a ‘paste’ as a good base for the soup.
- Stir regularly and simmer on a low heat for about 6-7 minutes.
- Add the diced sweet potato to the pan. Keep the heat low- medium and stir regularly for about 5 minutes.
- Add the roast squash and red pepper to the pan and stir for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add both cans of coconut milk (saving a little for the garnish) and turn up the heat to medium.
- When it is at a boil and bubbling, turn down the heat and reduce to a low heat.
- Add the juice of one lime.
- Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes.
- Add 500 ml of boiled water and stir then puree the soup using a hand blender or food processor. Add a little more boiled water if you feel it’s too thick.
- Taste the soup and adjust seasoning accordingly – I sometimes add a little more salt or a dash of lime juice.
- Serve in pretty bowls and garnish with fresh coriander leaves, a little dash of coconut milk and a pinch of smoked paprika.