Roasted butternut squash soup with coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger

A ricIMG_2179h and hearty soup, with the flavours of fall, as we enter the season of autumn. Infused with lemongrass, kaffir, ginger and asian spices. Butternut squash or butternut pumpkin, is a type of winter squash, very popular and has a sweet and nutty flavour, quite similar to that of a pumpkin. It contains high levels of vitamin A especially, among a host of other nutrients and vitamins, and also has a low calorie count. Thus, it’s very good for you!

In this recipe I have roasted the squash, to enhance the nutty flavour and bring out the sweetness too. This is a vegetarian soup, easy to make and to be enjoyed on the dining table, in the warmth and comfort of your homes!

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, approx. 3-4 lbs, peeled, deseeded and diced into chunks.
1 cupIMG_2171 chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. fresh chopped lemongrass(the soft, pulpy end of a lemongrass stalk)
2-3 kaffir lime leaves (or the juice of a lime)1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg1/2 tsp. hot Madras curry powder

Half a star anise
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Butter- 1 tbsp.

Water- 4 cups

white pepper powder-1/2 tsp.

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

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Fried rice vermicelli noodles, as garnish (Recipe given below)

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Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange the butternut squash on an aluminium foil lined baking sheet. Add extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper, mix well and spread out evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, until soft and the pieces start turning a caramel colour. Remove from the oven and set aside.In a small food processor, grind together ginger, garlic, star anise and lemon grass. Set aside.In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add the bayleaf, onions, celery and carrots. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, till the veggies are soft, but not browned. Add the ginger and lemongrass mixture and sauté for a minute or so. Add the curry powd

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er and nutmeg. Add the roasted pumpkin. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Let cool. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Blend the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, till smooth.

BeforIMG_2176e serving, reheat the soup. Season with salt and add white pepper powder. Add the coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves, or lime juice. Simmer for a few minutes. Before serving, remove and discard the kaffir lime leaves. I garnished my soup with some fried rice vermic

IMG_2173elli noodles, just for added crunch.

IMG_2178For the fried rice vermicelli noodles, heat oil in a wok or deep fryer. When the

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oil is hot, add the noodles and fry till crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Serve the soup piping hot, in a bowl and top with the fried noodles. Delish!

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