butternut squash soupEarlier this week, I made what I know will now become my favorite soup ever. The combination of flavors is truly a thing of beauty: a perfect unity of spicy (chilies), sweet and creamy (coconut milk), fragrant (a mix of warm spices) and earthy (butternut squash). Although I try not to eat meat during the weekdays, as I was dreaming up this soup recipe, my cook’s intuition started yelling at me, “throw in some chorizo, throw in some chorizo, you MUST throw in some chorizo!” …

I obliged, and that one seemingly simple addition made this soup fantastic. Actually, it was the basis of the soup because it was in those spicy oils released from the chorizo that all the magic started to happen.
I could devote a long blog to this soup. Telling you why you have to try it and why it’s autumn and comfort all wrapped into one sublime bowl of soup, but instead I’ll cut it short and give you the recipe.

Spicy Butternut Squash & Chorizo Soup
Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g chorizo, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili (deseeded), finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp smoked (hot) Spanish paprika
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • 800ml chicken stock
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • chopped coriander, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the chorizo for about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to drain on kitchen paper. In the leftover oils, go ahead and saute the onion. After about 5 minutes, add the chili. Continue to cook for an additional five minutes and then add in the garlic. Cook for a few more minutes before increasing the heat and adding in the squash, ground spices and just the merest pinch of salt and pepper. Cook while stirring for about three minutes and then add the stock. Cooked covered for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Add in the coconut milk and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Puree the soup. Serve and garnish with the fried chorizo, fresh coriander and a little fresh pepper.

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