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Pumpkin & coconut soup

June 19, 2011

I’m really beginning to warm to pumpkin – it’s about as versatile as potato, but it can also pull off sweet flavours, like in these pumpkin muffins (a must try if you’re looking for a healthy muffin recipe for winter). Of course pumpkin soup is nothing new, but with coconut and cinnamon and cumin and garlic…it really straddles the line between sweet and savoury. It also happens to be very soothing on a miserable looking day.

Another similarly excellent wintery vegetable is kumara, a vegetable I used to hate until I tried some kumara feta fritters from the New Zealand Vegetable Cookbook. It’s quite a bit sweeter and the variety that’s all orange on the inside is incredibly moist and silky smooth when pureed.

Over the last few months I’ve seen various soups, with either pumpkin or kumara with spices and coconut. Why not?

This version can be sweet or sweet-savoury – I went for the latter. If you want it very savoury, replace the kumara with more pumpkin, as the kumara provides a surprising amount of sweetness. The spices are very subtle, so you can amp them up by adding more. You could also sizzle the spices in the butter on a lowish heat before adding the lentils.

Spiced pumpkin, coconut and kumara soup

serves 3-4 EDIT: Ok, more like 4-5, as this is rather rich and filling!

  • 1/8th pumpkin, sliced 1cm even – do not peel
  • 1 medium sized kumara (sweet potato), sliced into 1cm even rounds – do not peel
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 whole head of garlic, top cut off
  • 1/2c red lentils
  • 1/2 tsp group cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • about 15g butter (omit for vegans)
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • salt to taste & pepper

Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Brush onion, pumpkin and kumara with oil. Place these, including the garlic, in a roasting pan, cover with a baking tray/sheet (doesn’t have to completely cover the pan).  You may need two roasting pans. Roast for 25 mins or so until the kumara is soft enough to dent with a spoon. Let cool until warm enough to remove the skins from the pumpkin and kumara – it should peel off much easier. A bit of green left on the pumpkin is ok. Squeeze garlic cloves out by running a knife down the bulb from the base to the top.

While the veges are roasting, rinse the lentils and place in a medium large saucepan with an inch of water. Cook for twenty minutes on a low heat until mushy.

Add veges to the lentils, puree (with a blender, food processor or stick blender). Add butter, spices, coconut milk and water to thin out to your desired consistency, then stir through.

Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve with a dollop of creamy stuff or yogurt, and a sprinkling of cumin seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds would be great too. Something crunchy (toasts) would be good too.

Currently clickalicious

Whole balsamic garlic glove & goats cheese tart @ Pease Pudding

Greek spinach patties with anchovy sauce @ Greek Recipe

Green goddess dressing @ Tastespotting Blog

Banana tarte tatin @ Berry Lovely

Lemongrass poached rhubarb @ Brave Tart

Yogurt cheesecake @ Alessandra Zecchini

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 9:00 am

    Yum-my! I have to confess that now I only make pumpkin soup with coconut milk/cream. I just love the combination, and even more if I can add some fresh coriander or Vietnamese mint.

    Also, if I can, I roast the whole pumpkin (if small, in fact I mostly I do this with buttercup) in the oven first, it keeps all the flavours in, and it is easier to cut. I really don’t like cutting pumpkin!!!

    I never mixed pumpkin with kumara, nor added cinnamon, I am curious about the taste. What else would you add a part from cumin and cinnamon?

    Have a good week

    ciao
    Alessandra

  2. June 20, 2011 9:00 pm

    I have become soup mad and after a month in Europe have vowed to eat only this soup this week to shake of some excess kilos! I like your addition of flavours for this pumpkin soup and the clickalicious is a great idea, thanks for adding mine to your list.

  3. June 22, 2011 7:53 am

    Yum, pumpkin and coconut! I love the colour of pumpkin and kumara in winter, when everything else seems so dull-coloured. I like that this soup has lentils in it, too :)

  4. June 22, 2011 12:09 pm

    Ale: Yes I wish I had given it more of a chance earlier! I am too impatient to wait for the whole pumpkin to roast, but it sure would help with the cutting. I mostly buy quarter pumpkins now so I don’t have to do the initial cut, which is always the hardest! The kumara adds extra orange colour and sweetness, plus it has a less powdery texture. I think instead of cumin and cinnamon you could do a lemongrass and ginger version, which would be a bit more refreshing. Or maybe a Moroccan spiced version?

    Ali: Ah no you’re doing it all wrong, it’s freezing over here so keep on the excess kilos hehe.

    H: Heh, the lentils were actually just a way to make this a complete meal since I couldn’t be bothered making anything else. Love sneaking them into soups, makes my life so much easier.

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