Balti Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash is very rich in vitamin A, carotenoids and fibre, among other things. A good winter vegetable to get you through the winter, or any time. The heat from the balti curry sauce is nicely balanced with some coconut milk, which is also reputed to be quite good for your health.
There is nothing complicated in this soup; sweat some onions, celery, chilli pepper and ginger, then add the butternut squash, cook until almost tender, add the balti curry sauce, cook until tender, add some stock and when it’s done, blend and stir in some coconut milk. It’s very easy but it’s also very full of flavour. If you prefer a spicier soup I’d still recommend adding the coconut milk and then a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to turn back up the heat. I think adding fat is usually what makes a soup really delicious and satisfying. And it’s nice adding a good plant source of fat.
This soup is quite sweet as it is but because it’s still winter and because I’m still craving sugar and warmth I added a 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the soup. I also added some ground cardamon. I love the smell and taste of cardamon but I can rarely taste it in a cooked dish. I still like to add a little though. The soup is quite sweet without these additions so I’m listing them as optional.
Butternut squash skin is edible if you roast it. It can make for a tasty garnish. I didn’t bother doing that this time but if you’re going to just be sure to buy organic and scrub the skin well first.
- 500g butternut squash, diced (1 small butternut squash)
- 2 small-medium sized onions, chopped
- a few leafy (inner) celery stalks, sliced
- 1 red medium-hot chilli pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
- 3 generous tablespoons balti curry sauce
- 160ml Thai coconut milk
- 1.25 litres vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, optional
- pinch of cardamon, optional
- fresh coriander for garnish, optional
- Heat a little oil in a suitable deep saucepan. Add the onion and celery, cover and leave for a couple of minutes to sweat on a gentle-moderate heat. Add the chillies, ginger and salt, stir in well, cover and leave for 5 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash, cover and leave for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the balti sauce, cover and leave for a further 5 minutes.
- Stir in the vegetable stock, increase heat to maximum and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Blend to a smooth consistency. Add in two-thirds of the coconut milk and reserve the other third in a jar for decorating - this way you can shake it up to the right consistency.