Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Honey Roasted Pumpkin soup with Indian Spices

So a lovely friend of mine works as a flight attendant, meaning she's a super jet-setter. She gets to go to all these interesting places for a few days :)  Last time she flew to Mumbai, and asked if i wanted some nice fresh Indian spices.  Sure enough, I was excited to get a couple of spices, but not as excited as I was when i actually saw what she brought, which was a whole bag of stuff!!!

Now that the weather has cooled enough for me to handle being in the kitchen, I decided that it was butter-nut pumpkin soup time!  The reason i use butter-nut is because frankly, i prefer it.  It's easier to cut, it keeps its shape when roasting, melts smoothly into soups without going stringy, and the taste - so sweet, nutty, delicious!

1 medium butternut (i would say about 1-1.5kg) peeled, seeded, chopped into smallish cubes (1.5-2cm)
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
one potato, peeled, diced. 
If in malta, some "karfus" (aka Maltese celery). If overseas, a celery stem, chopped finely.
some chicken stock (probably about a litre?) (Use veg stock if you please, and to make this dish completely vegetarian)
Goda Masala (or some curry powder, or some cumin, or whatever spice mix you would like to use.  I normally use just cumin, but this time, i decided on the Goda Masala, having never used it, but it said it goes really well with veggie curries, in fact, specifically, pumpkin curry!) More info below
Salt, pepper.
Vegetable oil
Fresh cream (or coconut cream if you want it to be vegan!), to serve

Spread chopped pumpkin in a baking dish, toss with oil, drizzle some honey, salt and pepper and cover tightly with foil.  Place in hot oven until the pumpkin is cooked (about 30 minutes).  Remove foil, toss a little, and return to oven to get some nice burnt bits going.  Burnt bits = more caramelly nutty flavour in soup :)

In the meantime, place onion, carrot and celery into pot with a little oil, and sweat for a few minutes (sautee with lid on).  Add spices (i used about 2 teaspoons goda masala, and about a teaspoon of turmeric), stir in chopped potato, add some stock - not too much, 2 or 3 cups should be fine, simmer until potato is cooked and kitchen is smelling of spicy goodness.

Once the pumpkin is done, throw it in the pot, simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.  Let cool a little before blending.**

Blend until completely, velvety smooth.  Add cream to taste, and season if necessary.  Stir around with the ladle until the cream is completely blended in. 

Serve with an extra dollop of cream, and some freshly chopped spring onions/chives if you have any at hand. 

I like to serve this into a giant mug,  sipping and spooning it into my mouth, while siting by the heater  watching Christmas cooking shows :)

**I have learned the hard way why soups that require blending always have the "allow to cool a little" thing  before blending the hard way.  when blending, it releases lots of steam.  in a blender, this means a little explosion of burning hot liquid from the top.  In the pot, this means that IF some splashes on you, you be BURNED! ehe. 

Goda Masala is a dark powder spice mix - it's got a smoky and sweet aroma, and makes things spicy without being hot.  I've never seen it anywhere before, so i have no idea if you can get it.  I would try Indian foodshops if you have access to them.  More info here: http://madteaparty.wordpress.com/2007/06/15/goda-masala/.
However, the actual spices in this soup isn't the important thing, as long as you have something on hand.  I've made it with just a bit of curry powder, or even just cumin and turmeric, with some freshly grated ginger added in.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree on the butternut properties, it's creamy and smooth in the soup with a great taste. Sometimes, I don't even bother adding a potato. And I also never add stock for I like the true taste of my incorporated veggies and spices.
    Uff I just wish you shared a pic of this soup of yours...