WINTER IS COMING (let's make soup)
It may only be March but the weather seems to have other ideas about the long warm Autumn days that we are accustomed to here in Sunny WA. With signs from above (the weather) below (my dad’s garden) and my cupboard (3 tins of coconut cream I had no idea I had) I decided it was a good day to make pumpkin soup. I am a big fan of cooking with what I have on hand so this is just today's version of pumpkin soup, it always changes!
So what did I have?
3 small onions
A bulb (not a clove) of garlic
Coriander (fresh is better than the limp, destined for the bin bunch I had)
Stock (Vegetable or Chicken, even water will do)
Coconut cream (how much you need will depend on how big the pumpkin is)
Spices (I used Chili flakes, smokey paprika and turmeric)
Leaving the skin on, roughly chop the pumpkin and place in a roasting pan. I love leaving the skin on for added flavor in the roasting process. I contemplated roasting the seeds as well but decided that it was too experimental considering I promised my dad pumpkin soup tomorrow and I want to make sure I don’t poison him in the process.
Chop the onions into halves and place in the pan along with the whole bulb of garlic (we are cooking this skin on to save time), knob of ginger, some cracked salt and a really good lug of olive oil (you can also use coconut oil).
Place it in the oven on around 170 -180 degrees (I am not entirely sure because the numbers wore off my oven a few months ago) and roast for 40 minutes or the length of a Scandal episode.
Remove from oven, turn the contents over, add any spices you wish and place back in the oven for another episode, I mean 40 minutes. I turned my oven up just a notch in order to crisp up the skin more. After 40 minutes or when the pumpkin is thoroughly cooked pull the pan out of the oven and allow it to cool.
Using a food processor (I have a Thermomix) blitz the coriander then blend the roasted contents into a paste. As I had such a large amount I had to blend in batches, transferring each batch to a large pot destined to the stove top once finished. You can use a little stock in the blending process to help it smooth out, it also makes it easier to remove it from the bowl and reduce wastage.
With the garlic bulb, the skin will easily peel away or you can squeeze the cloves out.
Use some stock in the roasting pan on the stove to lift and remove all the caramelized goodness that is stuck on the bottom, (It is the best bit!) then add to the food processor to bend before including with the pumpkin paste.
On the stove top add any extra stock to the pumpkin paste along with the juice of half a lime. The amount of stock will depend on how thick you wish your soup to be. I used 1- 1.5 cups in the blending process and 3 cups of stock in the pot. Stir and add one or two cans of coconut cream (I like it creamy so I went with 2 cans) and simmer on a low heat for around 40 minutes (do 4 episodes of Scandal constitute a marathon?)
I like my soup to be a little 'rustic' so I serve it as is, but you can always run it through the food processor one more time to get out any lumps and make it extra smooth.
To be fair, this isn’t a rush home from work to get dinner on kind of recipe. It deserves the time, the love and attention it takes to make a soup from scratch. My dad grew all of the main vegetables that went into this pumpkin soup and that took time, love and attention, so the least I can do is return the favour.
If you live locally to me, my dad sells his produce every Sunday at the Rockingham Rotary Markets.
Serve the soup with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt, fresh coriander (or parsley because that is the only herb I can grow) and some thick crusty bread if you are so inclined. It was awarded two thumbs up by everyone at lunch today so I'm taking that as a success.
One delicious soup, a blog post and seven episodes of Scandal later. Yes I think that does constitute a marathon.