Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Curried Pumpkin Soup

A wonderful, seasonal soup.

I love pumpkin-flavored everything. Normally this time of year, I would be getting pumpkin-spice lattes, pumpkin bread and muffins, and anything else pumpkin-flavored at the store or coffee-shop.

But this is my first fall with food allergies. And neither the bread nor the lattes are necessarily safe for me to have. Last month, I drank a soy pumpkin-spiced chai tea that made me sick for a couple days. I was told later that chai sometimes has gluten in it. Today I went up to the counter at Starbucks and asked if there was gluten in their pumpkin spice flavor. Thankfully, the barista knew that there was, so I did not order that. My fall is not ruined by the lack of pumpkin spice, however!

I made a big batch of pumpkin puree (following this tutorial) and with it I have been making my own pumpkin baked goods. The best thing I've made so far, though, is curried pumpkin soup. It is delicious, filling, and just happens to be gluten free and vegan (unless you use chicken broth). It has just the right touch of coconut and curry flavors. My squash-ambivalent spouse liked it a lot, too. I consider that a success!

Curried Pumpkin Soup

2 Tbs olive oil
3-4 peeled garlic cloves
1 medium carrot
1 medium yellow onion
2 cups broth or water (chicken is good, use vegetable to make it vegan)
1 pound pumpkin puree (a 15-ounce can of puree is fine)
½ can of coconut milk
1 ½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
a sprinkle each of nutmeg and cinnamon

Heat the olive oil at medium in a saucepan. Roughly chop the garlic, and saute in the oil for about three minutes. 
Briefly saute the garlic

Give the onion and carrot a rough chop, and add them to the saucepan. 

Carrots and onions

Stir the vegetables for about a minute, then add the broth (or water) to the pan. Bring it to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer the broth for 20-30 minutes, until the onion and carrot are soft.

Turn off the heat, and let the pan cool at least five minutes. Add the vegetables and broth to a blender, but avoid filling the blender more than half full. You may need to do this in batches. If you are using homemade pumpkin puree and you have not previously run it through a food processor, add it to the blender too. Blend the contents until the soup is as smooth as you prefer.

This was probably a little too full, as I have heard that blending hot food can cause explosions if the blender if full. That is one reason to let the soup cool a bit.

Pour the blender contents back into the saucepan. If you have a compulsion not to waste the food on the sides of cans, blenders, etc. like I do, swish a little bit of water around the blender to help remove the pureed vegetables and pour it into the saucepan.

Add the coconut milk and spices to the saucepan. Heat over medium for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. You may want to add a little bit of water to the soup if it is too thick at this point.

Mixing in the coconut milk. You can use lite coconut milk if you are worried about calories.

 I had to add probably a half cup of water to make it my desired consistency.

It is a delicious soup. Make it now!

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