Roast Pumpkin & Tender Coconut Soup

Pumpkin!

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 4

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.

Roast Pumpkin Soup 2

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 Soup 5

Roast Pumpkin & Tender Coconut Soup (an experiment)

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. Line a baking tray with some baking paper or foil, and preheat oven to 160 C.
  2. Wash the whole garlic, and cut the pumpkin into halves or fourths.
  3. Brush some melted butter on the pumpkin, garlic and onion, sprinkle cracked black pepper and salt.
  4. Bake for 60 mins, or until pumpkin has caramelized around the edges and is soft, when poked. (took me an hour and 10 mins).
  5. Now let them cool, then squish the flesh from the garlic, and collect.
  6. Add the tender coconut and use an immersion blender or a mixer to make a smooth paste.
  7. Check, if it’s too thick, add the milk, and blend until mixture is smooth. (you may strain, I didn’t)
  8. Heat a deep-bottomed pan, and dry roast the melon seeds until they’re toasty.. (they’ll pop, keep flame on low).
  9. Tip on to a plate and keep aside.
  10. Add the butter, and to it, add the chopped garlic.
  11. Fry until golden brown, and reserve most of this garlic butter for garnish, leaving behind a tiny bit.
  12. Pour the pumpkin puree into the pan.
  13. Season with some salt, cracked black pepper, chili flakes and add the water, mixing it very well until no lumps remain.
  14. Once soup comes to a boil, add the cream, and mix it in.
  15. Check seasonings, add the nutmeg powder.
  16. When soup comes to right consistency, switch off flame.
  17. Ladle into serving bowl, sprinkle roasted melon seeds, and pour garlic oil, and serve hot with choice of sides.

Roast Pumpkin Soup 3

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