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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Recipe: Curried Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds #TipsTuesdays #Vegan #GlutenFree


Curried Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I  literally just finished making this and it's yummy, so I had to share. Roasting the pumpkin is a bit of a faff, but it helps get rid of some of its water and starts the sugars going, so it is worth the time. From start to end it took me at least 2 hours, but it makes a lot of soup - easily enough for six hungry people, or packed lunches for days and I suspect it would freeze well. I already sent my parents off with a batch because there was no way Rob and I could eat it all :).

This recipe can easily be made vegan and gluten free, just use the right curry powder and the right stock depending on the dietry requirements of the diners.

Ingredients:

  • 2 red onions
  • 3 tbsp curry powder (check it is gluten free if that is a requirement)
  • 1 tbsp garlic puree (I use it from a tube, but you can crush your own)
  • 1/2 tsp ground dried garlic (optional to taste - I have it in a grinder)
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste
  • 1 large pumpkin (no idea of weight, but when cut into chunks it almost filled my shallow casserole pan)
  • 1 L/4.2 cups stock (chicken or veg - depending on whether you are making the carnivor or vegan version)
  • 400ml/13.5oz can coconut milk
  • oil for cooking

Equipment:

  • 1 large pan (at least 24cm/9.5in x 7cm/3in shallow casserole 3.2L)
  • 1 stick blender (a standard blender can also be used, but the soup will have to be blended in batches)
  • 1 spatula
  • 1 spoon
  • 2 large baking trays
  • baking parchment/paper
  • 1 sharp knife

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
  2. Cut the pumkin in half with the sharp knife.
  3. Remove and reserve the seeds (if you run your fingers gently through the inside of the pumkin the seeds will come away easily without any of the icky stuff).
  4. Scrape out the stringy insides of the pumpkin with a spoon.
  5. Rub the flesh of the pumpkin with oil (I used a spray oil for ease) and place on the baking tray. (Don't worry if it hangs over the edge, mine did, just make sure it goes in the oven :)).
  6. Place in the oven and bake until tender - this will be at least 45mins if not longer.
  7. Line the other tray with baking parchment/paper and spread the pumpkin seeds on it.
  8. Sprinkle with oil and salt and place in the oven as well. Bake for about 45 mins, turning occasionally until the seeds are lightly toasted.
  9. When the seeds and pumpkin are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool. The oven can go off now as well.
  10. Chop the onion. (It doesn't have to be too fine, but the smaller it is chopped the faster it will cook, so smaller is better).
  11. Put a teaspoon of oil in the casserole, add the onion, the curry powder and the garlic and cook on low until the onion is soft and translucent.
  12. Skin and cube the pumpkin (don't worry if it isn't all completely cooked because we're going to cook it some more anyway - the roasting was for flavour).
  13. Add the pumpkin, the stock and the salt and pepper to the casserole and stir to mix with the curried onion.
  14. Bring to the boil, still stiring.
  15. Turn down and simmer until all the pumpkin is soft and juicy.
  16. Take off the stove top and roughly blend the pumkin mixture and return to the low heat. Give it another ten minutes to make sure it is completely cooked through. (Best to put a lid on the pan at this point because it's like hot mud and can splooge over the edge as air is forced to the surface).
  17. Take off the heat and add the can of coconut milk.
  18. Blend until smooth. (This can take a long time - there is a lot of soup - don't give up before it has a silky texture).
  19. Return to a gentle heat and taste. Add more seasoning if necessary. (This is where I added the ground garlic to give it a little bit more of a punch, but that may not be to everyone's taste).
  20. Serve with the toasted pumkin seeds scattered on top to give it a bit of crunch.
This is a hearty thick soup and can be stored in the fridge and reheated easily. It can be eaten on its own and be very satisfying or it would go well with a dollop of greek style yoghurt/yoghurt substitute or a sprinkling of paprika or both. I also never met a soup that didn't go well with a hunk of crusty bread as long as diners are not gluten intolerant :).

Creme fraiche could easily be substituted for the coconut milk as well if you happen to have that to hand, and you aren't worried about the dish being vegan. That's the joy of this recipe, it's very versatile.

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