I had a butternut squash that needed using recently and decided to make soup with it. I thought I’d flavour it with ginger and lime. But in the end I went with some fresh ginger from a jar, the kind that you get in Asian shops. A big jar for less than £3
Then, looking in the larder for the squeezy lime that I had in mind to use, I saw a sachet of creamed coconut that really did need using up, so I used that instead.
The squash was chopped up and put in my big stock pot, a couple of onions added, a cup of red lentils, the coconut thrown in along with the ginger and salt. Then the whole lot was just covered with water and simmered until everything was well cooked through
Then I whizzed it all smooth and added pepper. If you add the pepper at the end, the flavour and heat of it won’t be diminished by the heat of the cooking
Change the ingredients
Please note that creamed coconut is not coconut cream. Creamed coconut is sold in 200g packets. Sometimes in one block, sometimes in 4 x 50g sachets. This is the type of coconut you need. Or at least, it’s the cheapest to buy! A tin of coconut milk would do the job equally well. The packet stuff is £1 for 4 x 50g sachets, or £2 for a 200g block. Each 50g is the same as a tin of coconut milk
The ginger could be dried, although that will give a completely different kind of ginger flavour, or change it to garam masala for a spicy warm hum.
I have successfully made this with a whole swede. I just cut off the very end of the root and the very end of the top, I didn’t peel it. The peel completely disappears in the cooked and whizzed soup.
It would be worth trying this with carrots too in place of the squash. You could use a tblsp of curry powder or paste in place of the ginger if you like.
If you are not vegan, chicken stock would give another layer of flavour. I don’t use stock cubes as I don’t think they add anything other than salt
I sprinkled some dried, fried onion on the top, but that was just for the picture really, it didn’t need it
- 1000 g butternut squash a whole one, about a kg, £1
- 2 whole onions 60p/kg, 25p
- 50 g spinach frozen, £1.25/850g, 8p
- 50 g creamed coconut KTC, £1/200g, 25p for 1 sachet
- 2 tblsps fresh ginger or from a jar, 5p
- 100 g red lentils 20p
- 2 cloves garlic or from a tube, jar or granules, 5p
- 1 tblsp white vinegar 5p
- salt and pepper
- Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Cut into chunks.
- Peel the onions and quarter, don't throw the peel away.
- Add the squash and onions to a large saucepan.
- Add the spinach, coconut, ginger, garlic and salt. Not the pepper at this point
- Add water to just below the top of the vegetables
- Put the peelings in another saucepan, add half a litre of water and simmer to make stock while the soup is cooking
- Simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are very soft and the lentils have cooked through
- Click here to start a 20 minute timer
- Strain the peelings stock into the soup pot. You can now dispose of the peelings
- Now whizz your soup smooth. Add the pepper. Adding it at the end preserves the flavour and heat. Adjust the salt and vinegar to taste. The vinegar really lifts a soup, well worth adding
- Serve on it's own, or with some lovely fresh crusty bread
Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you
I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community