Squash is possibly my favourite autumn vegetable. I know it’s not really an autumn vegetable, it’s available over a massive growing season, it’s just that as it gets colder the skin gets thicker, but it feels like an autumn vegetable as its at its best and most prolific currently. The versatility of the squash make it suitable for just about anything; curries, mash or roasted. But I think it comes into its own in soup. Adding body and texture which would belie something a little more unhealthy lurking in your bowl. For this soup I’ve roasted it as I love and added sweet potato, a perfect partner. Along with creamed coconut and chilli it gives a hint of the exotic on a cold night. There is also no need for stock as the roasting process plus the coconut adds enough flavour, simply season with salt.
Roast squash and sweet potato soup with coconut and chilli
Serves 4 as a starter
1 squash roasted in chunks (butternut, harlequin or similar)
1 sweet potato cut into chunks
1 red onion sliced in half moons
2 cloves garlic
50g creamed coconut
1 red chilli chopped
Olive oil for roasting and sautéing
Red chilli flakes to garnish
1. Roast the squash drizzled with olive oil at 200C for 20-30 minutes until tender
2. In a heavy based pan sweat the onions and garlic in a good glug of oil over a low heat until starting to soften 3. Add the sweet potato and chilli, covering in the oil and keep on the heat for another 2-3 minutes
4. Add the squash, creamed coconut, about 200-300ml water and half a teaspoon of salt. You don’t want it to be too thin but need sufficient to cook the sweet potato. You can correct later if insufficient.
5. Cook over a low heat for around 20 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.
6. Blitz in a food processor or with a hand blender. Correct with hot water for thickness and then for seasoning with salt.
7. Serve with chilli sprinkles for a little crunch and a little more heat and a huge chunk of warm sourdough. This is autumn in a bowl.