Sorry, I’m still banging on about pumpkin. This time it’s butternuts. They’re not my favourite pumpkins but I believe in having a couple of varieties going in case either of them succumbs to bugs or diseases. The butternut vines made good use of a small patch of garden surrounding our young pear trees, intertwined with rockmelons, watermelons and honeydew melons, and we picked half a dozen small butternuts in autumn. They have been sitting around like the ugly stepsister to the sweet Jap pumpkins until now, when I finally decided to give them a chance. Only half a chance really, as their flavour is heavily masked in this spicy number – it’s a great winter warmer (and there is an easy side-step along the way to produce an unspiced version for little ones)…
- 1 large or 2 small butternut pumpkins, peeled, seeded and chopped roughly
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup red lentils
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
- 2 Tbsp Thai yellow curry paste
- Heat large pot, add oil and saute onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant.
- Add stock and bring to boil.
- Add pumpkin, lentils and spices and cook until pumpkin and lentils are tender
- Blend curry paste with a little of the liquid in a bowl, then stir into the soup. (If you’re feeding spice-averse little people, blend the soup first, put some aside for them and add the curry later)
- Remove from heat and add coconut milk.
- Blend with a stick blender. Done!