This is a traditional South Indian dish with a British twist. A delicious creamy lentil soup using roasted pureed butternut squash and coconut milk for extra creaminess. It has brilliant spices making it rich in flavour and is topped with crunchy flaked almonds and fresh coriander
Soak the lentils for a 8 hours / overnight (check if this needs to be done or if they can just be boiled up).
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Put chopped butternut squash on a baking tray mixed with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes until the flesh is soft. Take out the oven once done and leave to cool. Use half of the squash. Once cool scrap the half of the squash into a food processor with ½ cup of hot water. Blend into a puree and set aside. Leave the other half of the squash to serve with later!
Start the daal by heating the other 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Once hot add the onions and fry until translucent, then add the garlic, ginger, coriander, curry powder, turmeric, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Fry for a few minutes to let the flavours infuse.
Add 2 cups water and the lentils. Cook for around 30 mins until the lentils are soft.
Next add the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the butternut squash puree to the daal. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Optional but delicious: Add spinach leaves and let them wilt into the daal. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
To serve, sprinkle a bowl of daal with some of the reserved butternut squash chunks, a squeeze of lemon juice, a few sploshes of vegan plain yoghurt and some fresh coriander leaves.