Curried squash soup

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Lunch is often a haphazard thing in my world. On my work days, I don't technically get a lunch - my breaktimes are usually between 10-11am and even though I'm chowing down on sandwiches at that point, in my head anything before midday is still breakfast - and most of my days off are spent out of the house in an effort to keep my fingers out of a bag of crisps (three weeks & one day since I touched a fried potato packet snack thing - woo!). On the occasions that I do have a day in and I'm trying with great effort to stop thinking about anything vaguely crispy or chocolatey, it's a bit of a gamble as to what I will have for lunch. I pick up plenty of breakfast recipes and great dinner ideas galore adorn my Favourites bar, but lunch is almost a forgotten thing. This must be changed.

Lunch (for me) is a meal sandwiched between (for me) the two most important meals of the day, ones that I try and pad out as much as I can. Breakfast is almost always porridge, or toast with fruit. Dinner could be literally anything, but know that it will always be fajitas on a Friday, and that potatoes probably make an appearance in 5 out of 7 of my weekly dinners. What can I say? I do love a spud. So lunch must be light - basically something to carry me in the middle of the day. In practicing how to have a good lunch indoors I've flitted between rye bread with meat & cheese (a little something I picked up from Europe, there) and soup. Oh, tasty soup.

I saw the recipe for this one in my most recent issue of Runner's World and immediately brain-bookmarked it as a Must Cook. The rest of my MC list sobbed in despair as today, I fast-tracked this tasty recipe to the very top of the list and found myself in soup heaven. After downing (quite literally) a bowl of this while it was still piping hot, it occured to me that I could probably make and eat this soup almost every week and NEVER get bored of it, all with a few simple alterations.

Curried Squash Soup
(I'm no expert but I reckon this would make enough for 5 lunches, if you had a bit of bread with every one.)

600g butternut squash, or any squash, or pumpkin, or even sweet potato (or indeed, a mix of some/all)
400ml stock (I used chicken, but you can most definitely use vegetable)
150ml coconut milk
1tsp curry powder
¼tsp salt (perhaps omit if you use vegetable stock, & then just add to season afterwards)

Method: Bloody simple. Boil or steam your vegetables until tender, then drain. Put back in the pan with the stock, coconut milk, curry powder & salt (if adding). Give a good stir, then blend until absolutely smooth and gorgeous looking.

You can most certainly have it as it is - it's delicious enough without any accompaniments - but after racking my brains, I came up with a few ideas to make it last you throughout the week without getting too samey.

++ Melt a little crunchy peanut butter with some hot water, a teeny tiny bit of coconut milk & some black pepper and drizzle on top for a lovely creamy swirly finish.
++ Grill a rasher of pancetta or bacon until all frazzled & crispy, then break into little pieces and scatter over the soup for a beautiful smokey flavour.
++ Add raisins & broken brazil nuts for an excellent crunch.
++ Throw in some spinach, toasted pine nuts & a tablespoon of already-cooked rice when warming up for something a little bit more filling.
++ Cut some pitta bread into squares, soak in some Worcestershire sauce (yum) & dry-fry until just crispy for some deluxe croutons.
++ Add sweetcorn, or cooked prawns, or chickpeas, or a swirl of Marmite, or nutritional yeast, or a little scattering of grated cheese... the possibilities are endless!

Do you have a filling lunch, or something light? What would you top this soup with?

No comments:

Post a Comment