Thursday, 11 October 2012

Spicy Creamy Pumpkin Soup

To new beginnings, be that the start of a new day, the crisp arrival of a new season, the first breath of a new life, the first footstep on an unexplored path...

To the knowledge and acceptance that life is ever moving, ever changing, taking you by the hand and leading you blindly...

And to old trusted recipes, changing and adapting to the seasons as well as to our desires and needs.
While pumpkin soup is an old trusted favorite, it's slightly different every time... The pumpkin may be slightly sweeter, there may be an extra carrot or two, or perhaps a leek in need of use, threatening to succumb to a slow, slimy ending at the bottom of the fridge...

Todays pumpkin soup, however, was a deep rich yellow. Sweet, spicy and creamy. The perfect way to compliment such a sunny and refreshing autumn day. Curled up on the couch in the last dwindling rays of sunlight, this batch of pumpkin soup really hit the spot.

You can garnish it with crispy buttery croutons or some coriander, parsley or spring onions.

I only had a bunch of parsley in the fridge, so I chopped up a sprig of that and added a good squeeze of lemon juice. Lemon juice gives this sweet, rich soup a bit of a zing and really sets the off the flavors.

Alternatively, you could add an extra spoonful of yoghurt.

Spicy Creamy Pumpkin Soup:


2 medium butternut squash (a type of pumpkin pictured above... I find these pumpkins very sweet, which gives a great flavor to the soup)
3 medium carrots
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 piece of ginger about the size of two thumbs
1300ml vegetable stock
1 can of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of yoghurt

Chop the butternut squash and the carrots and put them in a bowl to use later.
I never peel my pumpkins and carrots because it takes too much time and the skins cook well and taste fine.
I wash them well, however, giving them a good scrub under the tap.

Put a large saucepan over medium-high heat and put in the spices. (curry, chili, cumin and pepper)
Heat them for a minute or two, until they start smelling lovely and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them!

Add the olive oil, chopped leek and minced garlic cloves and stir them together with the spices.
Stir frequently in order to prevent the mix from burning.
When the leek softens (should take about 5 minutes) add the ginger, carrots and pumpkin.

Stir for a few minutes to ensure that the pumpkin and carrots are well mixed with the leeks and spices.

Add the vegetable stock and put the heat on high to bring the soup to the boil. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down low and simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until the pumpkin and carrot pieces are soft enough to be blended with a stick blender.
(The larger the vegetable chunks, the longer they will have to boil for)

When the vegetables are soft and cooked, puree them with a stick blender (or food processor, or normal blender. I find stick blenders to be easier here because you don't have to transfer the hot soup, it can just stay in the pan!)

Once the soup is blended, add the coconut milk and yoghurt and give it one more whiz with the blender to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, some chopped coriander or parsley (or both) and enjoy!!!