What you need
- Crunchy autumn leaves (optional):
- This product contains:
- This product is suitable for:
- Please note:
Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / gas mark 6. Chop the top off the butternut squash, then cut in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place onto a baking tray and drizzle on 1 tbsp. of oil. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes until soft. You can save some time and energy by roasting both halves of the squash and reserve the other half for another recipe later in the week. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days in an air tight tub.
Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic and peel and finely grate the ginger. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a heavy based, large, wide pan and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat until soft, then add the garlic and ginger for another minute.
Rinse the lentils, then add to the pan. Pour over 300ml water, stir well and bring to a gentle boil, then leave to simmer gently on a low heat for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a splash of extra water if the pan gets too dry, the lentils should be submerged under the liquid until they have softened and become mushy.
When the butternut squash is roasted, scoop out the soft flesh, mash with the back of the spoon and add to the pan with the mushy lentils, stirring thoroughly. Then stir in the coconut milk and heat through gently. Season with garam masala then transfer to a blender and blend until beautifully smooth. Add some hot water to get a thinner soup, if required.
Crunchy autumn leaves (optional). Preheat your oven to 160°C / 140°C fan / gas mark 3. Strip the kale leaves off the stem and tear into bite size pieces. Peel the parsnip, then using a peeler or a julienne slicer create parsnip ribbons. Spread the kale and parsnip over two or three baking trays (ensuring the trays are not over crowded and putting the parsnip on a separate tray as they take a little longer). Drizzle everything with oil and sprinkle with paprika, then bake in the preheated oven. The parsnip will take about 20 minutes, but the kale crisps will only take about 10 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on these as they can suddenly catch and burn.
Serve with the crunchy autumn leaves and some fresh bread or boiled brown rice. You can increase the quantities and make this simple soup in bulk and freeze in portions for a simple autumn supper. If you have the time or ingredients to make the crunchy autumn leaves, fresh coriander leaves make a great alternative, but no topping is necessary. You can try the same technique with various other vegetables too, such as potatoes, beetroot, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and swede. You can also vary the seasoning making them sweet with cinnamon or cocoa, or savoury with dried herbs or cumin. A sprinkle of sesame seeds is also a great option. The vegetable crisps are best eaten fresh on the day of cooking but can be kept in an air tight container for a day or two.