Butternut Squash Laksa Soup

CHEF’S TIP: Ensure that the coriander and coconut shavings are added only just before serving.

Serves 4


  • 500g (1 lb) butternut
  • 10ml (2 tsp) chilli paste
  • 5ml (1 tsp) minced garlic
  • 2 large pieces fresh ginger
  • 2 lemon grass sticks
  • 30g (1 oz) fresh coriander
  • 5ml (1 tsp) Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 10ml (2 tsp) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 3 lemon leaves
  • 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 375ml (1½ cups) coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • coconut shavings


  1. Cut the butternut into very small cubes and set aside. Process the chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, coriander, Chinese 5-spice powder and cumin in a food processor until they make a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the spice paste and the onion and sauté for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the butternut, stock and lemon leaves and stir, scraping all the bits at the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the butternut is soft and cooked. Add the coconut milk and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Bring back to a boil and add the lime juice.
  4. Serve with fresh coriander leaves and top with coconut shavings.