Butternut squash and lemongrass soup
2 large shallots
2 tablespoons oil
2 crushed clove of garlic
1 red chilli, finely chopped and deseeded
2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
1 large butternut squash
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 x 14 oz can of coconut milk
1 bunch of fresh coriander*, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Takes about 30 minutes
Sweat the shallots in the oil until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, chilli, lemongrass and ginger and cook for about a minute.
Add the sliced butternut squash and cook stirring well for five minutes.
Add the stock, season with salt and pepper. Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 20 mnutes. Remove the lemongrass.
Add three quarters of the coconut milk. Whizz in a food processor (you may have to do this in batches) - and return to the rinsed out saucepan.
Reheat, check the seasoning. Add the chopped coriander leaves and marble in the remaining coconut milk.
To make this a little more substantial, you could add some egg noodles to the soup before adding the coriander/remaining coconut milk.
Leith's Cookery School, London.
* I believe that coriander is called cilantro in the US.. We call both leaves and seeds of the plant by the one name!