Curried pumpkin soup

June 3, 2011

I feel like this soup deserves a lot of acclaim considering it cost me more than $300 to make. Technically you can make it for a mere fraction of that, but I had to fly from Chennai to Bangkok in order to locate the canned pumpkin called for in this recipe. And let me tell you, it was worth it.

As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I’m obsessed with anything pumpkin. Each year I count down the days until Starbucks starts selling their pumpkin scones and I don’t even want to know how many I’ve consumed over the years. So once I found this recipe a few years back, which combines the greatness of pumpkin with a subtle hint of curry, I was hooked. It’s really easy to make and like most soups, tastes even better on the second day.

Makes 4 large bowls

Ingredients

2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbs minced peeled fresh ginger (I used 1 Tbs of garlic ginger paste instead of preparing garlic and ginger separately)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
2 (15-oz) cans solid-pack pumpkin (about 3 1/2 cups; not pie filling)
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (12 fl oz)
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)

Preparation

– Cook onions in butter in a heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
– Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
– Add cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
– Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth, and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
– Purée soup in batches with a blender until smooth.
– Season with salt and pepper.

Note: I usually blend this soup, but I don’t have a blender in India and it actually turned out quite nice without this step. Additionally, since I can’t cook meat, I used water as a substitute for the chicken broth and minimal flavor was sacrificed.

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