Ingredients

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
4 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1 teaspoon galangal paste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 butternut squash, about 1 kg (2 lb).
peeled, deseeded and cut into
2 cm (4 inch) chunks
250 ml (8 fl oz) carton
Coconut cream
750 ml (14 pints) vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
small bunch of coriander
salt and pepper

Instructions

1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary.
2.Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry until softened.
3.Stir in the curry paste, galangal paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then mix in the squash.
4.Pour in the coconut cream and stock, then add the soy sauce and bring to the boil, stirring.
5.Pour into the slow cooker pot, cover with the lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours until the squash is tender
6.(You may find that the coconut cream separates slightly, but this will disappear after puréeing.)
7.Purée the soup while still in the slow cooker pot with a stick blender.
8.Alternatively, transfer to a freestanding blender and purée, in batches if necessary, until smooth, then return it to the slow cooker pot and reheat on high for 15 minutes.
9.Reserve a few coriander sprigs, chop the rest and stir into the soup
10. Ladle the soup into bowls and gamish with the reserved coriander sprigs.
11.FOR PUMPKIN & ORANGE SOUP, fry the onion in 25 g (1 oz) butter, then add the diced butternut squash with the grated rind and juice of 2 small oranges, 900 ml (1½ pints) vegetable stock and 3 whole star anise.
12. Bring to the boil, stirring, add a little salt and pepper and continue as above.
13. Remove the star anise before puréeing and serve with swirls of double cream.

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