Butternut Squash and Lemongrass Soup

by Karimah bint Daoud, muslim chaplain & well being writer,

Oriental butternut squash soup (quiththah) squash

I have just come down with some weird flu thing, headache stomach ache, you know the sort of thing when the weather keeping changing so an Indian revert  sister recommended me ginger and lemon grass tea. 

With an abundance of fresh lemongrass in our house something needed to be created. Sometime when we have flu, cutting out meat products for a few days does the stomach the world of good and not compensating by overdosing on the diary, so soups, salads and smoothies are perfect way to get nutrients and minerals.

Soups are comforting and squash, part of the pumpkin, melon, cucumber family, one of the favourite foods of the prophet Muhammad, salahla alayhi  wa salem, he used to eat it with dates. Squash is cold and dry and relieves the heat of an inflamed stomach, its high in fibre so good for the heart and is also high in potassium and vit C. Its coldness is harmful to one part of the stomach so it should be eaten with something like ginger zanjabil, that is moist in first degree and hot in the second. Ginger aids the digestion and is also good for the liver; it’s an aphrodisiac and should be eaten with caution by single persons who are not ill.

The lemon grass and coconut give this soup that exotic oriental taste that would make a great starter or supper dish. It’s also very quick to make, approximate 30 minutes all in

lemongrass and butternut squash soup

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 Medium size squash

3 medium size potatoes

3 small onions

3 cloves of garlic

3cm piece of fresh ginger

1 fresh lemon grass stick

1 cup of celery parsely or coriander and parsley

1tbsp butter, ghee or vegetable oil

1 stock cube

10-20 grammes coconut cream

5 cups of boiling water

1 ts sea salt

3 ts black pepper

 

Method

 

1         Wash squash and peel with potatoes peeler, chop into large pieces, 5cm, and take seeds out of centre and put in vegetable recycling.

2         Wash peel and chop onions finely  or  use mini chopper

3         Peel and crush garlic, ginger, lemon grass and herbs

4         Wash peel and chop potatoes

5         Place 1 tbsp of margarine or butter or vegetable oil on medium heat in large saucepan and let it melt

6         Add the onions, garlic, ginger and lemon grass and gently fry till yellow golden, if your onions do get a bit brown don’t worry, it will be alright inshallah.

7         Add the chopped squash and potatoes

8         Add the finely chopped herbs and stir

9         Put the kettle on and boil, put eh stock cube and coconut cream in heat proof glass jug and add 3 cups of boiling water and dissolve, when dissolved add to potatoes and squash and add another 3 cups of water so that veggies are neatly covered

10     Turn up the heat and bring to boil for 5 minutes then turn heat down low , cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes

11     Turn heat off and leave so cool before blending in smoothie maker or jug blender

12     Using a small mug or jug put cooled soup into processor and blitz for a few seconds till soup has s mother texture

13     Return to pot  and add the salt and pepper and reheat before serving

14     At the re-heating stage i would add some fresh washed top and tailed okra and cook for 15minutes in teh soup but you could fry some onions and green chilli in a separate frying pan and add on top of the soup before serving like Bengali dhal soup. The possibilities are endless but there is soup to be eaten…hmmmm

This recipe is taken from the book “heavenly Bites, the best of mulsim home cooking”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heavenly-Bites-Best-Muslim-Cooking/dp/1847740316

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