Butternut Squash and Cucumber Soup

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Oh so creamy, light, and utterly delicious, this recipe has both Middle Eastern and Thai influences. It may sound like an odd combination, but such combinations are often the ones that surprise us the most. I have always loved the way cucumber works in a soup and butternut squash partners with it divinely here as it becomes quite light and pulpy after it’s cooked. This soup is comforting yet refreshing. With hints of both winter and summer, it is the ideal soup for the spring.

That being said, it is also vegan and highly nutritious, without sacrificing on flavor. Coconut milk, coriander, and chili make for a blast of character. Add the green curry paste for some heat and piquancy if you like.

And if you give this recipe a try, do let me know how you liked it in the comments section below or tag your photo using the hashtag #hanadykitchen on Instagram. It’s always lovely learning about what you all enjoy.

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INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 6-8

3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves
pinch of dried red chili flakes
1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste, optional
5 cups (1 liter plus 175 ml) vegetable broth or water
5 cucumbers (about 500-600 gr.), peeled and diced
salt
good grinding of freshly ground black pepper
1 butternut squash (700-800 gr.), peeled and diced
1 cup (235 ml.) coconut milk
2 handfuls fresh coriander/ cilantro

METHOD

1. Sauté the onion in a medium-large pot over medium-high heat in the olive oil until soft and transparent. Add the garlic, chili flakes, and curry paste and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring constantly.

2. Pour the broth or water into the pot stir in the pieces of cucumber and butternut squash. Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt, to your taste, and a good grinding of pepper. I used 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the soup to a simmer, cover, and bring the heat down to low. Leave to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before blending.

3. Blend the soup with the fresh coriander/cilantro, in batches if necessary, until smooth and creamy. Pour back into the pot, stir in the coconut milk, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Check for seasonings, garnish with cilantro, coconut milk, and chopped green onion.

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