Last year I made a butternut squash soup on a near weekly basis for a good month or so, with the intention of nailing the perfect recipe. Done right, gourds can make the most incredible tasting soups, stews and dishes, but done wrong they can be a little bland. I’ve been whizzing squash into pasta sauces since my first year of university, so I love blending in mustards and vinegar for a much-needed addition of acidity. Mustard seeds are a popular ingredient in almost all regions of India, so I turned to southern Indian cuisine for inspiration with the rest of my ingredients, most notably rich coconut milk.
One problem with soups is that they are traditionally a little low in protein unless meat is added. To overcome this -and to very cheaply bulk out this recipe, I’ve added red lentils, another staple ingredient across much of middle eastern and Asian cuisines. They blend up beautifully into a smooth and creamy soup as well.