This is a butternut soup with a difference, slightly piquant with a hint of coconut milk to mellow the spice. It's a warming soup suitable as a starter prior to any main course meal and keeps well. Any you don't eat straight away can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen in individual portions for up to 3 months.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
● ½ tsp chilli flakes
● 2 tsp cumin seeds
● 2 tbsp olive oil
● 450g butternut squash, peeled and cut into small pieces
● 2 Bramley apples (approx 450g), peeled, cored and roughly chopped
● 1 celery stick, finely sliced
● 125g split red lentils
● 750ml hot vegetable stock
● 400ml coconut milk
● Small handful of coriander leaves
● Heat a large saucepan and then dry fry the chilli flakes and cumin seeds for a minute or so until they release their aroma and pop around in the pan. Remove half of the seeds and set aside.
● Add the oil to the pan, and once hot, stir in the butternut squash, apple and celery. Fry for about 5 minutes, and then add the lentils, stock and coconut milk.
● Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, until the butternut squash and lentils are tender.
● Blitz the soup until smooth, and season with salt and pepper.
● Serve scattered with the reserved spices and a few coriander leaves.