Curried Roast Pumpkin Soup with Summer Pesto

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Last week, I overindulged. I had too many slices of cake.

(Blueberry cake+Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting) x3 = Guilt.

This was my repentance. I’m not sure if this can be counted as sin-free eating as despite it being vegan, it was VERY very scrumptious. I made a whole pot and it disappeared very quickly. So, if you’re like me and have indulged in too much yummy food over the week, then you might want to try this. It’s simple and easy. Just roast,blend,cook and blend…and EAT!

Australian Blue Pumpkin
Australian Blue Pumpkin
Cubed pumpkin
Cubed pumpkin
Seasoned and ready for the oven
Seasoned and ready for the oven
Coriander and Mint for Summer Pesto
Coriander and Mint for the summer pesto

For this recipe, it’s crucial that you get a creamy textured pumpkin. I used the Australian Blue Pumpkin variety as they’re available this time of the year and the flesh has a beautiful , velvety texture. You can use a Japanese pumpkin or butternut squash alternatively. The pumpkin flesh is cut into 2 inch cubes roasted until they are slightly slightly charred at the edges. This slight char and the spices give the soup an earthy flavour and the summer pesto livens up the soup. You could have the soup without the summer pesto but I would recommend that you try it. You will not regret it! I liked it without the pesto but was pleasantly surprised by the contrast of flavours the summer pesto provides against the background earth flavours. This soup should keep well for 1-2 days and freezes well. You can pair this soup with any type of toasted bread. For a vegan/vegetarian option, you could just substitute the chicken stock for a good vegetable stock.

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Curried Roast Pumpkin Soup

Serves 2, as main course with bread

  • 1 kg pumpkin
  • 1 litre chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, degermed and chopped
  • 1 thumb-size (about 1 inch) young ginger, sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Summer Pesto

  • large handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a pinch of brown sugar
  • drizzle of olive oil (*I’d forgotten this ingredient in my initial post)

Remove the pumpkin skin and cut the flesh of the pumpkin into 2 inch cubes. Make sure the cubes are of even size as they should take the same amount of time to cook through.

Season cubes with a pinch of salt and pepper and coat with 2 tbsp of olive oil or any mild oil meant for high temperatures .

Lay pumpkin cubes on a roasting tray. Roast in oven at 180-190 C for about 25-35 minutes.

While pumpkin cubes are roasting, make the summer pesto.

Blend coriander,mint,lemon zest and juice with salt and olive oil. Add a pinch of sugar if its too sour. The pesto should be mildly sour and slightly runny in consistency.

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add heat oil in pot. Saute sliced onions till edges slightly brown. Saute garlic,ginger and cumin and chilli powder till you can smell the cumin’s aroma. Be careful not to burn the garlic. If your pot heats up quickly, add the garlic after you can smell the cumin aroma.

Remove roast pumpkin cubes. To check for pumpkin doneness, you should able to easily pierce the pumpkin flesh with a fork. Add to onion spice mixture. Saute for 2 minutes.

Add hot chicken/vegetable stock to pot. Allow for soup to reach simmer.

Blend the soup mixture. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve with a few dollops of summer pesto and crusty toast.

Alternatives

Curried Roast Carrot-Red Lentil Soup with Summer pesto: Same steps as above but before adding roast carrot, add stock and cook lentils in stock before adding roasted carrots and blending mixture.

Curried Roast Pumpkin and Onion Soup: Roast onions with pumpkin. Omit onions for saute.

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