Butternut Nut Butter Soup from rivercottage.net.

Serves 6.

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small medium-hot chili pepper, de-seeded and chopped, or a pinch of dried chili flakes
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 8 ounces peanut butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (or other herb)
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Halve and peel the squash, then scoop out the seeds and cut the flesh into 1cm cubes. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and sweat until soft and translucent. Add the chili, ginger and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the squash, a sprinkling of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, partially covered, for about 20 minutes, until the squash is soft – you should be able to mash it easily against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.

Whiz in a blender (or use a stick blender to purée it in the pan) until very smooth; you may need to do this in batches. In a bowl, whisk the peanut butter with a ladleful of the hot soup until well blended. Return this mixture to the soup in the pan, stir well and heat through.

Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and coriander, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve each portion topped with a dollop of yoghurt and a few cilantro leaves. Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds or peanuts and/or a little finely chopped chili on top, if you like.

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