The weather's suddenly become decidedly Autumnal, so this week's meat free recipe is a nice warming soup.
Butternut Squash last for a couple of months if you keep them somewhere cool and dark and I always have one in the veg. rack for use in curries or this spicy soup.
Spicy Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup with Garlic Croutons - serves 4
1 butternut squash, peeled & chopped into medium sized chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger/garlic paste (or 1 clove garlic plus a small piece of ginger grated)
1 veg. stock cube
1 heaped teaspoon curry paste
1 sachet creamed coconut
Fry the onion in a little olive oil until softened but not browned and then remove from the pan to a plate. Gently fry the squash cubes in the remaining oil for about 5 mins. until just slightly browned. This gives the squash a nice nutty flavour.
Add the sautéed onion, ginger/garlic paste, stock cube and curry paste and stir well for 2 minutes over a low heat to take the rawness off the curry paste and garlic.
Pour in enough boiling water to just cover the veg. and simmer gently for 20 mins. until the squash is soft.
When the squash is soft, crumble in the coconut and stir until melted, then either mash well with a potato masher or blitz in a liquidiser until smooth. If the soup is a bit thick you can thin it down with either water or milk. Add salt and pepper to taste although it will probably be salty enough from the stock cube.
2 slices bread
butter or spread (I use Clover)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Parsley is a very useful herb but unfortunately it's quite delicate and dies off at the first frost, so at this time of year I keep a box of frozen, ready chopped parsley in the freezer.
Measure just enough butter or spread to cover the 2 slices of bread into a bowl and add the garlic and parsley.
Mash together with a fork
Grill one side of the bread, turn over and spread the other side with the garlic butter.
Grill the other side until golden brown and then cut into croutons.
Serve the soup with a few croutons sprinkled over and the rest on the side.