CURRY PUMPKIN SOUP
I love the addition of curry with pumpkin soup, it gives it another level of warmth on a cold night. Soups are so easy to make and if you want to make sure your soup is ready quickly, dice your pumpkin nice and small. Also, if you find that your pumpkin isn’t exactly 1kg one peeled, you can also add a few carrots – I have done that many times and it is delicious.
For the soup
1 kg (2.2 lb) pumpkin (weight once deseeded and skinned)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon hot curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 litre (4 cups/32 fluid oz) chicken stock (or vegetable)
400ml (14oz) can fair trade coconut cream
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoon soy sauce
Fresh herbs, I used flat-leaf parsley and dill
Cut the skin off the pumpkin. Cut open and remove the seeds and stringy parts with a spoon. Dice into 1cm (1/2 inch) pieces. Set aside.
In a large pot on medium/high heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onions with a pinch of salt (The salt helps them to soften and not colour) cook for about 2 minutes until the onions are translucent but not brown. Add the bay, garlic, curry powder and turmeric and cook for a further 1 minute. Add the pumpkin and the stock, cover and bring to the boil. Cook for about 10mins or until a knife can go through the flesh of the pumpkin with ease.
While that is cooking, toast your pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan on medium/high heat. Once they start to puff and get toasted, add the soy sauce and stir until all the liquid has evaporated. Tip out onto a chopping board and roughly chop. This will give your soup a wonderful texture and flavour.
When the pumpkin is cooked, remove it from the heat. Take the bay leaf out and discard. With a stick blender, blend until smooth. (Alternatively, pour the contents into a food processor to blend) Add half the coconut cream, reserving the remainder to spoon over top at the end. Taste the soup and season with salt and a little pepper to taste. (I seasoned quite generously with salt – it depends on how salty your stock is)
Ladle into bowls. Drizzle over some of the remaining coconut cream, sprinkle over the herbs and top with the pumpkin seeds.