The word itself has capabilities to draw horror from the eyes of many, including my mom…and even me at times, I have to confess! Not that we don’t eat pumpkin, we just wish pumpkin didn’t exist, sometimes. Horrified yet? I know there are people who love pumpkin, squash and all their cousin veggies. And to be honest, I do like pumpkin on some rare occasions; this being one of those 😉
When I told my mother that I’m making pumpkin soup for lunch, she gave me a deep glare of loathing and pursed her lips. Pumpkin? In a soup? My mother’s worst nightmare. But then, she hadn’t tried a roast pumpkin soup before, so, I couldn’t really blame her either 😀
Roast pumpkin soup is a beautiful, hearty and wholesome meal in itself. The roasting/baking gives it a wonderful depth that adds to the flavour of the soup, what with the addition of roasted garlic and some nutmeg at the end. I decided to branch out a bit and experiment here; there was some tender coconut flesh (malai) lying in the fridge. I’m not a fan, nor is Mom, but I love the flavour in desserts, smoothies or curries. So I decided to add some of the tender coconut flesh here, to give the soup an extra body and delicious subtle coconut-flavours.
Of course, I knew Mom would reach her breaking point if I told her to sustain on the soup alone…(though she did love it so much that she asked for second helpings…yayyy!). I am quite similar that way, and besides, I never say no to non-veg 😛 Especially sausages!
And so, I made some really quick toasted Bruschetta, topped them with curries sausage cubes and sour cream, and a blast of black pepper…Heaven on a plate, I tell ya!!
Roast Pumpkin & Tender Coconut Soup (an experiment)
- Yellow pumpkin – 1/2, peeled and seeds and gills removed (about 300 gms)
- Tender coconut flesh – 2 tbsp
- Whole garlic – 1
- Onion – 1 whole
- Garlic – 2 tbsp roughly diced
- Fresh cream – 2 tbsp
- Milk – 1/4 cup (or replace with coconut milk/cream)
- Cracked black pepper – as per taste
- Chili flakes or paprika – 1 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Grated nutmeg – a pinch
- Butter – 2 tbsp, a bit extra for baking (or mix with some oil)
- Melon/Pumpkin seeds – 2 tbsp
- Water or stock – 2 cups
- Line a baking tray with some baking paper or foil, and preheat oven to 160 C.
- Wash the whole garlic, and cut the pumpkin into halves or fourths.
- Brush some melted butter on the pumpkin, garlic and onion, sprinkle cracked black pepper and salt.
- Bake for 60 mins, or until pumpkin has caramelized around the edges and is soft, when poked. (took me an hour and 10 mins).
- Now let them cool, then squish the flesh from the garlic, and collect.
- Add the tender coconut and use an immersion blender or a mixer to make a smooth paste.
- Check, if it’s too thick, add the milk, and blend until mixture is smooth. (you may strain, I didn’t)
- Heat a deep-bottomed pan, and dry roast the melon seeds until they’re toasty.. (they’ll pop, keep flame on low).
- Tip on to a plate and keep aside.
- Add the butter, and to it, add the chopped garlic.
- Fry until golden brown, and reserve most of this garlic butter for garnish, leaving behind a tiny bit.
- Pour the pumpkin puree into the pan.
- Season with some salt, cracked black pepper, chili flakes and add the water, mixing it very well until no lumps remain.
- Once soup comes to a boil, add the cream, and mix it in.
- Check seasonings, add the nutmeg powder.
- When soup comes to right consistency, switch off flame.
- Ladle into serving bowl, sprinkle roasted melon seeds, and pour garlic oil, and serve hot with choice of sides.