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As unlikely as it may seem, tomatoes and butternut go extremely well together. It’s probably the marriage of the sweetness in the butternut with the tartness of the tomatoes. Anyway, we love it and make it often during winter. It’s hot, hearty and rib-sticking good – just what the doctor ordered for a cold day! For the kiddies you can omit or tone down the hot stuff like curry and chili.

Spicy Tom-Nut Soup


  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 15 ml mild curry powder
  • 5 – 10 ml dried red chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 x 2-cm piece of ginger root, sliced
  • 5 ml cumin seeds
  • 500 g butternut, cubed
  • 1 litre prepared chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 x 425 g tomato puree
  • handful of dried or fresh curry leaves, crumbled or sliced
  • salt
  • freshly-milled black pepper


Heat the oil and add the onion. Sauté until soft then add the curry powder, chili flakes, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Add the butternut, stock, tomato puree and curry leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until the butternut is cooked and tender.

Puree until smooth with a stick blender or in your processor and season to taste. If you want a really silky soup, push it through a strainer at this stage.

When you are ready to serve, reheat gently and serve with crisp croutons and any herb of your choice as garnish.

Serves 6