Warming pumpkin, coconut and ginger soup

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Last week, I spotted the first pumpkin of the season, which made me remember a dish from years past. It is similar to the sweet potato soup I made recently, but more nuanced and warming. It’s perfect for the current onset of autumn that makes your insides shiver!

Top tip: If you’re having guests, make this a day in advance. The spices infuse overnight and it tastes even better the next day!
Prep time: around 45 minutes. Serves 4-6 people
  • 1 butternut squash / small pumpkin / half a large pumpkin, prepared as per instructions below
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large rounds
  • 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 inches of ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces (add more if you have more – the ginger is what provides that warming feeling!)
  • 3-4 tbsp butter (one knob)
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 can of coconut milk (200ml)

Spices: (these are my measurements, but add them according to your personal preference)

  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 4-5 tbsp soy sauce
  • Lots of black pepper
  • A few strands of saffron (if you have it)

Garnish:

  • Sour cream / creme fraiche
  • Fresh coriander
  • Roasted squash seeds
1) Prepare the vegetables: Wash the butternut squash, slice off the top and then cut it in half (best to use a very large knife). Scoop out the seeds and keep aside. Then cut the rest of the squash into large cubes (no need to peel as it will be boiled). Peel and cut the carrots, potato, onion, garlic, and ginger.
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3) If using, spread the squash seeds onto a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil and salt, and roast for 5-10 minutes. Keep aside for garnishing.
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2) Melt the butter in a large, deep saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger for a few minutes. Then add the potato, carrots and squash.
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Onions, garlic, and ginger

3) Fry everything until the squash turns golden (almost the same colour as the carrots), for about 15-20 minutes
4) Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Cover and let simmer until everything is soft (around 20-25 minutes)
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5) Add all the spices (garlic salt, cumin, coriander, chili, paprika, soy sauce, pepper, and saffron).
6) Blend the soup in batches and pour into a large bowl as you go if using a standing blender (I use the Philips Avance Collection Blender). Or if using a stick blender, simply blend in the pot! Taste the soup and add spices to taste (e.g. if you like it spicy, add more chili)
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7) Serve with a bit of paprika, fresh coriander and dollop of sour cream on top, plus some toasted squash seeds and crusty bread
8) Enjoy that warming feeling from the inside out!
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