I am currently obsessed with everything orange, both on my plate and in my wardrobe. Pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, blood oranges, and mandarins make a daily appearance in my kitchen whether juiced, roasted, or spiralised. Australia is as deep in its Autumnal hues as Ireland is in the throes of Spring. Wherever you are on the planet nothing heals the heart, soul and belly like a bubbling bowl of homemade soup irrespective of the season.
I share one of my favourite seasonal soups, Butternut squash, lime and cardamom, combining two of my favourite flavours on this big blue dot.
Butternut squash, lime & cardamom soup
Makes 4 servings. Takes 30 minutes
2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, smashed & minced
450g butternut squash (pumpkin) peeled & chopped into equal-sized chunks
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp ground cumin
seeds of 8 cardamom pods, crushed / 1 tbsp ground cardamom
600 ml Marigold organic bouillon
250 ml organic coconut milk, full-fat
1 tbsp brown rice syrup/raw honey
grated zest of 1 organic lime
Fresh juice of 1 lime
Himalayan pink salt & freshly ground black pepper to serve
toasted coconut / toasted seeds / lime juice / swirl of coconut milk / fresh coriander. I add them all.
Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry gently for 10 minutes over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, butternut squash, ginger, cumin, and cardamom. Stir for one minute. Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, brown rice syrup/honey, grated lime zest, and juice of half the lime. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Blend until smooth. If you prefer a lighter consistency add a little more water but be sure to check the seasoning before serving as this can dilute the intensity of the flavour which we don’t want to happen.
You can dial up the heat and go Thai by adding a pinch of red chilli flakes or 1/4 tsp of finely chopped fresh red chilli, 4 kaffir lime leaves dried or fresh, plus two smashed lemongrass stalks. Remove the outer leaves and finely chop the softer white part. Add these at the same time as the garlic.
To serve add a dash of natural yoghurt/coconut milk, a swirl of extra virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander. Don’t forget a generous sprinkle of toasted seeds and toasted coconut. It is all in the finishing touches.