Winter Pumpkin Soup

Winter is here down under and honestly, when winter comes round my inner animal comes to the front and I turn into a creature who just gravitates to any warm object and am filled with the constant longing to hibernate under the covers.

The fun and magical aspects of winter which had me enchanted when I first arrived has long worn off, and the cold seems to have this new magical way of chilling me down to my bones.

I yearn for those days of constant summer heat back in Singapore, and so what better way to bring those memories back than with a twist to a classic winter soup?

This roasted pumpkin soup with a twist of spices will keep you warm and cozy on any cold day. And if it’s summer where you are, is that really a reason not to have soup? 😉

I believe that if I am going to make a comfort vegetable soup, it’s got to be easy and quick. If I wanted a complex soup, I would have made something which required a long dedicated weekend, includes animal bones and perhaps some of my blood and sweat.

But who has time for that when you are in need a some quick comfort and warmth?

To help make things easier, everything is roasted in the oven in huge chunks to reduce prep time and then blended together to create a creamy delicious soup.

Winter Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

1.4kg raw unpeeled Kent Pumpkin (seeds removed and sliced into 2 portions to allow for quicker cooking)

1 head of garlic (top sliced off slightly to reveal cloves, about 1/4 of the top)

1 brown onion (skins removed and halved) 

1/2 tsp Curry powder (I used Keens, but any brand works)

1 litre chicken stock

80ml coconut milk

1/4 tsp paprika

1 inch knob of ginger (peeled)

Coriander (a handful)

Sprinkled of nutmeg

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Salt

Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F)

Place the pumpkin standing with as much of the flesh exposed on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Place the garlic and onion halves sliced side down on the baking tray.

Season with salt and bake for an hour or until pumpkin is soft.

The outermost layer of the onion will turn really dark (almost black) but don’t panic.

Remove baking tray from the oven and extract the cloves from the roasted garlic and place into the blender.

Discard the outter most skin of the onion (and this should reveal the nice and tender flesh underneath) and add the onion to blender.

Scoop the pumpkin flesh off the skin with a spoon and add to the blender along with the coconut milk, ginger, curry powder, paprika and half the chicken stock.

Blend on high until smooth.

Add coriander to the blender and if your blender can accommodate more stock, add it to the blender as well.

Blend until everything comes together smoothly.

Transfer to the pot and add any remainder stock that couldn’t fit into your blender to the pot at this stage.

Bring to a boil and season with salt.

Turn off the heat and stir in nutmeg and cinnamon.

Garnish with coriander and freshly cracked black pepper.

Notes:

  • You can substitute the Kent pumpkin with Butternut Squash/Pumpkin but I love the sweetness that the Kent pumpkin brings to the soup.
  • I don’t add any oil to the vegetable when roasting as I feel that there’s enough sugars in the vegetables to kickstart the caramelisation process. Feel free to add some oil to the vegetables but as we are roasting at a high temperature for a long time, keep an eye on the vegetables to ensure they don’t burn. Also, do not use any oil with a low smoking point. 
  • I find that a good quality blender does wonders when making soups as it helps with the emulsification process. You might get a different consistency depending on the type of blender that you’ve got. But what you are after is a smooth consistency where the stock and the vegetables have bonded together as a coherent mass without the stock splitting from the puréed vegetables. 

Hope you enjoy making this soup as much as I did.

You can adjust the spice level to suit your tastes and feel free to add more nutmeg or cinnamon if you would like a more of a festive vibe.

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