When Matt and I first arrived in New Zealand, we were exhausted and hungry and were welcomed to my sister's home with a big bowl of this soup. I've made it many times since and have been asked for the recipe more times than I can remember.
Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut, Lemongrass and Chilli
(adapted from a recipe by amazing New Zealand cookbook author Annabel Langbein)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2.2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 1 really big squash) *
2 1/4 cups water
1 400 ml can coconut milk (I use light)
1 - 2 fresh chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped (I generally use 3 stalks)
1 tbsp fish sauce
juice and zest of a lime
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot and saute onion, sugar and garlic until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add squash, water, coconut milk, chillies, lemongrass, fish sauce and lime zest. Simmer over medium heat until squash is tender and cooked through. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Add a bit of water if soup is too think. Add the lime juice, season with salt and pepper.
Serve in bowls and add a generous pinch of cilantro.
* Last year when making this soup I had a crazy allergic reaction to butternut squash when peeling it. I googled it and found its really common. I now wear gloves when peeling butternut squash!