1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp vegetable oil
500g squash (see tips below) peeled, deseeded and cubed
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 stick of lemongrass bashed with a rolling pin
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 lime leaves (or bay leaves)
1 red chilli (or more if you like it spicy!) chopped
30g red lentils, rinsed in a sieve until the water runs clear
500ml vegetable stock
400ml tin of coconut milk
Salt and pepper and lime juice to taste
Sliced red chilli and chopped coriander to serve
In a large saucepan heat the oil and then gently cook the onions for 15 minutes, until they are really soft. Add the garlic, chilli and cumin and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the squash and apple, the lemongrass and lime leaves and stir well.
Add the red lentils and the stock and bring the soup to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the squash is soft and the lentils are cooked.
Remove the lime leaves and lemongrass and whizz the soup until it is smooth using a hand blender or food processor.
Add the coconut milk and gently reheat. Taste and add salt, pepper and lime juice to your taste.
Serve with a few slices of red chilli and chopped coriander.
Tips:You can use any squash for this, including Butternut, which is easy to find. It tastes best though with a heritage squash such as Crown Prince, Turks Turban or Kabocha. The squash needs to be peeled for this recipe; the easiest way to do this is to cut off the stalk end of the squash and then chop through the middle with a sharp cook’s knife. Scoop out the seeds and then peel with a vegetable peeler. You may not need a whole squash for this recipe, but the remainder will store in the fridge for about 5 days or can be frozen.