LAWRENCE MURPHY: Autumn’s bounty begins squashing into the kitchen

Spiced Butternut squash and coriander soup
Spiced Butternut squash and coriander soup
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I’m in the kitchen on Monday morning getting the orders together for the coming week and have put some ham hocks on the stove for a terrine so I can get it ready for lunch on Tuesday.

Outside it’s pouring and I’m reminded that someone has already told me that we are officially in autumn.

It will soon be game season, which is such a fantastic time of year in any kitchen, and the foragers will be bringing in their mushrooms and berries to accompany the game.

The first butternut squash were delivered to me in the middle of last week, grown on Owen’s allotment along with sweetcorn and runner beans.

The squash were not huge, but they had few seeds and were as sweet as you could imagine. The perfect ingredient for a bowl of soup when the rain is smashing against the windows and your wife wants to know what’s for lunch.

Normally I cook the squash using butter and cream to make a silky smooth soup, but for this recipe I’ve added spice and used coconut milk for an entirely different flavour. The quantities will make you two large bowls if you’re hungry or four smaller ones to be eaten as a starter.

Spiced butternut squash and coriander soup


400g butternut squash flesh cubed

1 onion chopped

1 stick celery chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

Teaspoon coriander seed

Teaspoon cumin seed

1 bird’s eye chilli

Small knob ginger peeled and chopped

250ml vegetable stock

400ml coconut milk

Small bunch coriander leaf picked

Salt and pepper

Olive oil


1.Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil.

2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and celery and cook for three minutes.

3. Stir in the seeds and chilli.

4. Now add the squash and cook for another three minutes.

5. Pour over the stock and coconut milk and bring up to simmer for 12 minutes.

6. Make sure the squash is soft before liquidising.

7. Taste and season.

8. Pour into bowls and top with the coriander leaf.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth ( 01243 377914.