Pumpkin & coconut soup
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
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.