Coconut squash soup with lentils

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. 

Coconut squash soup with lentils
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 large curry leaves
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained.
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp dijon or wholegrain mustard
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 180'C. Cut the squash in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Place cut side down in a baking try with a drizzle of oil, and the pour in around 100ml water. Steam roast the squash for around 40 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Whilst the squash cooks, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and then add the mustard seeds and curry leaf. After a minute or so, lower the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook for around 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Next, add the garlic, and then the cumin, cooking for another couple of minutes.
  4. Stir in the red lentils and then 750ml of the stock, and the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat.
  5. Allow the squash to cool slightly once cooked before scraping the flesh away from the skin. Add to the cooked lentils, and then blend until smooth.
  6. Add the ACV and mustard, and season to taste. If required, add the remaining 250ml of stock.
  7. Bring back up to just reaching simmering point, and then serve. Finely chopped coriander and natural or coconut yoghurt makes a delicious garnish here.