This is a hearty, healthy and delicious soup, filling enough to be a meal in its own right. You might be lucky enough to have the vegetable ingredients from your own garden at this time of the year – the celery and squash from the larder or freezer, and the leeks from the garden. This recipe is from Darina Allen's 'Forgotten Skills of Cooking' book.
• 1.5 tablespoons sunflower oil
• 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
• 2 teaspoons coriander seeds (freshly ground)
• 2 teaspoons green cardomons, bruised
• 400ml tin of coconut milk
• 1.2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock
• 1 squash (butternut) or small pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut in to 3cm chunks
• 2 leeks, finely sliced
• 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
• 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
• Zest and juice of one lime
• 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (Nam Pla)
• 110g egg noodles
• 1 red chilli, deseeded and diced
• 1 spring onion, finely sliced
• 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
Warm the oil in a deep saucepan and add the curry paste, coriander and cardamon and fry until fragrant (about one minute).
Pour in the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Add the squash, lemongrass, lime zest, leeks and celery and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the squash is tender. Season to taste and add the fish sauce and lime juice.
Turn off the heat. You can cook the noodles separately in water or just add the noodles to the soup and let them cook for about five minutes. Ladle in to warm bowls, adding a sprinkle of the garnish.