Clodagh McKenna’s spiced butternut squash and coconut soup with pumpkin seed bread

The squash tastes sweet and creamy in this butternut squash and coconut soup recipe. I love spicing it up with cumin and garam masala.

Clodagh McKenna's spiced butternut squash and coconut soup with pumpkin seed bread
Dora Kazmierak

SERVES 6

20g butter
1kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g onions, chopped
700ml hot vegetable stock
300ml coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE PUMPKIN SEED BREAD

200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
350g wholemeal flour
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
350ml milk, plus extra for brushing
250ml natural yogurt, plus extra for brushing

TO GARNISH

pumpkin seeds
raw coconut flakes

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7. Dust a baking tray with plain flour.

2. To make the bread, sift the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl, then add the wholemeal flour. Using clean hands, mix the dry ingredients together with half the pumpkin seeds, then make a well in the centre.

3. Whisk the milk and yogurt together in a jug, then slowly pour into the well and use your free hand to mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture, trying to spread your fingers far apart so that your hand resembles a trough. Ensure that the resulting dough is entirely wet, with no dry patches remaining.

4. Pat your hands with plain flour and shape the dough into a round. Place on the floured baking tray. Dust a large knife with plain flour and use to cut the shape of a cross into the top of the dough, cutting about two-thirds of the way down through the dough.

5. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with extra milk and yogurt mixed together. Sprinkle the remaining pumpkin seeds on top and press them gently into the dough. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4, and bake for a further 20 minutes. To test whether the loaf is cooked, tap the bottom with your knuckles – it should sound hollow. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

6. To make the soup, place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and melt the butter. Add the squash, spices, garlic and onions, and season with salt and pepper. Stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and sweat for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

7. Stir in the hot stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil, then leave to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the squash is tender. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth consistency.

8. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes, along with the pumpkin seed bread.

Now buy Clodagh’s brilliant books

clodagh's weeknight kitchenOur recipes are taken from Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen and Clodagh’s Suppers, published by Kyle Books, both priced £20. To order at discounted prices until 17 January, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £15