Butternut squash and spinach soup with chilli and coriander

Light, velvety yet satisfyingly substantial, this delightful soup combines bold flavours with an exotic flair that suits warm or cold weather
By Jenni Muir
Butternut squash and spinach soup with chilli and coriander
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 butternut squash, or kaboucha squash
  • 15 g fresh coriander
  • 1 litres vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp dry sherry
  • 4 tbsp Puy lentils
  • 30-40g spinach leaves
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or small stockpot. Reserve a few slices of chilli to use as a garnish and add the rest of it to the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel the squash. Cut it in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds and pith with a metal spoon. Cut the flesh into bite-sized chunks.

3. When the onion has been frying for 10 minutes, add the squash and stir well. Raise the heat under the pan to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the squash pieces are starting to turn golden brown.

4. Meanwhile, pick the tender coriander stalks from the leaves and keep them separate. Pour the stock and sherry into the saucepan, then add the coriander stalks and lentils and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the squash is very tender. While the soup is simmering, cut the spinach into strips.

5. Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool briefly. Then purée the mixture using a hand-blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and heat through.

6. Stir in the spinach and two-thirds of the coriander leaves and stir through the hot soup just until they are wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary, and adjust the consistency if desired with a little water.

7. Pour the soup into serving bowls, garnish with the reserved coriander and chilli and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper before taking it to the table.

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