There are infinite ways to make soup and a few simple things that make them work. Today I am sharing a super easy squash soup. This tasty soup works because it benefits from the creaminess of the squash and coconut infused with a gentle blend of various warming spices.
It’s easy – as long as you have the ingredients, of course – which include squash, lentils (optional), coconut, ginger, ground coriander, sea salt, black pepper and water.
I used creamed coconut for my soup here (which comes in a solid in a block) but you can substitute for coconut cream or coconut milk (see notes with the recipe for tips on using these alternatives).
How to prepare squash…
Baking the squash will bring out a deeper flavour. However, if you don’t feel like baking, then just peel and dice it just as it is. There is a handy guide on how to prepare squash here: BBC Good Food – how to prepare squash
It might seem a bit of a handful if you’ve never tackled it before, but it’s easy when you know how. If you choose to bake your squash, then that involves slicing the squash in half (if using butternut squash), or pieces (if using rounder shaped squash), scooping out the seeds and then popping the squash on a tray in the oven on a medium to high heat. You bake until you can easily pierce a fork through.
Once baked you can simply scoop out the flesh (let it cool a little bit first, otherwise… ouch) and then use in your soup immediately. Magic!
Some interesting stuff about squash…
Squash comes in all shapes and sizes and can lend itself nicely to virtually any meal. Squash is actually not a vegetable, it’s a fruit! That’s because it has seeds. We tend to think of it as a vegetable though since it is usually used in savoury cuisine and we don’t chomp on it like an ordinary piece of fruit.
Summer squash, which includes courgettes (zucchini) and marrow, are varieties that can’t be stored easily. Winter squashes (i.e. acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and pumpkins) however, can be stored for longer periods and make the ideal food when other fresh veggies are shorter in supply.
Each squash variety has its own unique flavour. Some have a nutty taste, others are sweeter. Most of them work exceedingly well baked as it makes the delicious, caramel-like sweetness pop right out!
This recipe calls for ‘winter’ squash. You can use any winter squash for this recipe (the summer squashes are too watery). I actually used butternut today, although I would certainly just use whatever I have available at the time.
I’ve created a lovely video to show you how easy this is to make,
please check it out here…
- 500g Squash (i.e. one medium to large sized butternut peeled and de-seeded)
- 50g red lentils
- 100g creamed coconut (or see notes to use coconut milk instead)
- 1 heaped teaspoon fresh ginger (finely grated)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- A big twist of black pepper
- 750ml water (3 cups approximately)
- Parsley (optional garnish)
- Please see my video (directly above) for a quick demo on how to make this.
- You have two options with the squash. Either bake it ahead of time (by slicing in half, taking out the seeds, and popping on a tray in the oven on a medium to high heat, until you can pierce a fork through the flesh. Or just peel, de-seed and dice the raw squash and use like that.
- Add all ingredients to the pan.
- Bring the contents to the boil and then turn down to a low heat, allowing to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Adjust the warming spices to your preferred taste.
- Blend until smooth (a 'good' hand blender is idea for this task).
- If you would like to use parsley then finely chop a handful and mix some in (after blending) or sprinkle on top.
- Serve immediately or keep for a few days in the fridge (it also keeps much longer if you would like to freeze).
COCONUT ALTERNATIVES: If you don't have creamed coconut then you can substitute with full fat coconut milk from a can. If you do this, then use a full can (i.e. 400ml) and only use 250ml (1 cup) of water (rather than the 750ml stated).
If you have coconut butter then use that as a direct replacement for the the creamed coconut (it is essentially the same thing packaged differently).
If you have coconut cream, then use that as an alternative. I would recommend at least 200ml of coconut cream and only using between 300ml - 500ml of water in the whole recipe.
- Check out my page here for creamed coconut and the difference between coconut butter/coconut cream etc: All About Creamed Coconut
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