It’s September! Which means, officially it’s autumn. Yet judging by the weather, it’s unofficially still summer! I mean really, it’s quite warm today in Helsinki. But most members of pumpkin family are out in the markets so to give a start to autumn, here is a delicious pumpkin soup.
For many years in my life, up until my life here, I only used and ate pumpkin to make a very dear Turkish dessert. After I came here though, seeing all kinds of relatives of pumpkin as well, I realized that this cute plant has an even more extensive use in savoury parts of the kitchen.
For this recipe, I roasted the pumpkin because it enhances the taste and also makes it easier to deal with the pumpkin itself. I just cut the washed pumpkin in wedges and then put it in the oven, I don’t need to peel it. After it comes out of the oven, the flesh is so soft that you can easily scoop it out.
You can actually use any kind of pumpkin or squash in this recipe. I actually did it with small pumpkin, red kuri squash and it was way easier to deal with due to its size.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot live a single day without soup and this one is a real comfort one. Hope you enjoy!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
1 small pumpkin (mine was 1300 kg), cut into wedges and seeds removed (keep the seeds to toast and use as soup topping if you wish)
2 + 2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lt (or 4 cups) water (use vegetable broth if you have some)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper to taste
1.5 dl (or a bit more than 1/2 cup) coconut milk
2 tbsp rice syrup
For toasting seeds of pumpkin (optional):
seeds of pumpkin, washed, drained and pat dried
remaining olive oil from brushing pumpkins (if nothing remains, than just drizzle the seeds with some olive oil)
1/2 to 1 tsp salt (depends on how salty you want the seeds)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put pumpkin wedges on an oven tray with a baking paper. Brush the flesh of pumpkin with olive oil. Put in the oven, in medium rack, for about 35 minutes, or until the flesh becomes so soft that it can easily be scooped out. When it’s ready, take out of the oven and set aside to cool down a little.
2. In the meantime, if you are planning to use the seeds of pumpkin as soup topping, toast them: put the seeds in a bowl and pour remaining olive oil from step 1. Add salt and give it a good mix. Spread the seeds on an oven tray with a baking paper in one layer and toast in the oven for about 15-18 minutes, until they are nice crunchy.
3. When pumpkin pieces are cooler to handle, scoop out the flesh.
4. In a big soup pan, put 2 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat for about half a minute. Add onions and saute until they are translucent, for about 2 minutes.
5. Add garlic and continue cooking by stirring for 1-2 more minutes.
6. Add pumpkin and water (or broth). Stir a little.
7. Add all spices and salt and pepper. Stir and let it boil.
8. When the soup is boiling, turn down the heat to medium and cook for 10 more minutes.
9. Add coconut milk and syrup, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
10. Turn down the heat and puree the soup using a blender. Serve with crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds (if you don’t want to use the seeds of the pumpkin, you can also use store-bought pumpkin seeds, but toast them on a pan a bit too). Enjoy!