burnt toast

Tag: pumpkin

Pumpkin Soup – two (of one million and a half) ways

It is pumpkin season and it is time to cook those suckers up before you realise you’ve had enough pumpkin to last you another decade. There are many, many ways of making a successful pumpkin soup, and these versions I’ve offered here are just two of them. The first is inspired by the flavours of the eternal crowd pleaser known as butter chicken, or murgh makhani. However, since it contains neither chicken nor butter, and for lack of a better name, I’ll call it my Indian-inspired pumpkin soup for now. Close on the heels of the first, the second soup is a nod to one of my other all-time favourite flavour combinations, the zingy hot and sour tom kha soup, which, if not for tradition’s sake, will be known as the Thai-inspired pumpkin soup in this series. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Soup – two ways

Serves 4

Pumpkin base

A splash of neutral-tasting oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

8cm of ginger, finely grated

½ – 1 small chilli, thinly sliced 

1.5 kg pumpkin

1 litre of veggie / chicken / beef stock

Indian

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

8 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground

2 Tbsp tomato paste

200ml thick cream (plus extra, if needed)

soy sauce / salt

To serve

200g Greek yoghurt

50g roasted cashews, chopped

sweet paprika, to sprinkle

Thai

3 lemongrass stalks, bruised

8 kaffir lime leaves

200ml coconut milk (plus extra, if needed)

1-2 fresh limes, juice, to taste

1 bunch coriander, chopped

Fish sauce / soy sauce / salt

To serve

A few extra tablespoons of coconut milk

A few extra coriander leaves

A few extra slices of chilli

To start off, add the oil and the onion to a big pot and fry on medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir for a minute.

Indian

Add all the spices and the tomato paste, and stir for another minute. Add the pumpkin and the stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft. 

Remove from the heat, adding the cream, and puree with a hand-held blender. Season to taste with the salty substance of your choice.

To serve, ladle into bowls, swirl with some Greek yoghurt and scatter with some cashews and a few pinches of paprika.

Thai

Add the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, along with the pumpkin and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft. 

Remove from the heat, adding the coconut milk and coriander , and puree with a hand-held blender. Season to taste with the salty substance of your choice.

To serve, ladle into bowls, swirl with some coconut milk and scatter with some coriander leaves and chilli rings.

Serve either soup with bread or rice or whatever you’d like to have it with.

Pumpkin Bread

a slice of pumpkin bread

You were almost hoping this would really be a bread recipe, right? Just a bit of bread dough with a bit of pumpkin puree folded in, yay, some healthy stuff for once. Are you kidding? Everything is healthy. It just depends on your attitude towards it, and in what quantities you consume it. Bring on the cake. Guilt? I don’t even know guilt feels like. Is it edible? Whatever, lets go back to pumpkin bread shall we? Why do people call cake in the shape of a loaf “bread”? Is it to calm their conscience? Back home, in a land far far away, also known as Switzerland, we call them loaf-shaped things Cake. The round ones are called Kuchen, and if they have some sort of custardy whipped component, they go over into the Torte realm. That’s a bit of trivia you can totally stun people with at the next dinner party. Bam!

In other words, this is a deliciously aromatic, sweetly spiced pumpkin bread. Great on its own, toasted, or with a smear of sour cream. Because you’re worth it baby.

pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread

¼ large jap pumpkin, seeds and skin removed, chopped into 2cm pieces

1 Tbsp butter

2 cups/300g plain flour

1 cup/220g caster sugar

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp salt

220g butter, melted

1 Tbsp golden syrup (or maple syrup or molasses if you don’t have any)

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

Chuck the pumpkin onto a lined baking dish, dot over the butter and bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes at 200°C or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool. Once it’s cool enough to touch, whizz it to a smooth puree in your food processor. You will need one cup/250ml of this. Do something imaginative with the rest, or just eat it. Whatever mood hits you first.

Lower the oven temperature to 180°C. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.

In another bowl, possibly the one you melted the butter in, stir together the butter, golden syrup and vanilla. Whisk in the egg, then add the cup of pumpkin puree.

Pour the liquid pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and gently combine. Don’t over mix it – it’s fine if you have a few bits of flour lurking about. The process is basically the same as that of a muffin. Spoon into a prepared loaf tin and bake it for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the top is nice and golden. Mind, our oven is extremely temperamental, so just keep an eye on your little loaf and periodically check after 50 minutes.

%d bloggers like this: