vegan curried butternut squash soup with a side of poppadums

i seem to indulge in curried food fairly regularly, so why not a curried soup to welcome autumn?

vegan curried butternut squash soup (with a side of poppadums)

butternut squash curried soup and poppadums

luckily it is one of those all in one pot recipes (as actually all soups are). i used a whole butternut squash – they get mushier than hokkaidos, hence they are the perfect fodder for soups!

half the butternut squash, deseed it and cut off the hard peel (that goes fairly well with a sharp peeling knife), then dice it and put aside. in cooking pot heat up a teaspoon of coconut oil and shallow fry one chopped shallot, three smallish spring onions (cut into rings), one deseeded and chopped fresh chilli and a chopped piece of ginger (about the size of the upper part of your thumb) together with a pinch of fleur de sel. when it has softened, add a heaped teaspoon of curry powder of your choice, the butternut squash cubes and a dash of lime juice and stir fry for about a minute.

add a can of coconut milk, stir well and bring to the boil. cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20 mins – the butternut squash should be mushy but still retain some texture. season again with more fleur de sel, lime juice and some chili flakes (you can also add more curry powder if desired) to taste. just before serving, stir in a tablespoon or two of freshly chopped coriander and a teaspoon of creamed coconut for extra richness. decorate with chili flakes. a heartwarming soup is a good thing for autumn … and the ginger will keep the flu away!

i fried some poppadums as a crispy side dish. their lentily flavour goes well with the soup. you can get them in most indian or asian shops and they just need to be fried in oil for a couple of seconds. you can fry them in coconut oil or ghee (or a mix of the two … but by using ghee, you are choosing the non-vegan option), but i actually used rice bran oil as it has a very high smoke point and adds an ever so slight hint of jasmine rice to the poppadums.

advice: poppadums really need to be deep fried and swim in the oil in order to get a light and crispy result and the oil needs to be very hot. fry them one after the other. don’t worry, they will not retain much oil and will not be greasy (in any case you put them on paper towel after frying and that soaks up any extra oil). do not put them in the toaster as the result will not be the same … and they could catch fire (i am speaking from experience!!!).

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