It has been another busy fortnight at our place. I seem to have an assignment due every other week at the moment, couple that with unending pressures at work and the days getting darker and colder, I’m turning to simple food to keep me going. This soup is a bit of a mish mash of flavours, a clean the crisper out ahead of this weekends visit to the markets kind of affair. It’s not rocket science, but then again good, wholesome food rarely is.
I dug up some local garlic and a leek, coupled them with some warm spices, pumpkin and a couple of rogue carrots and cooked them all down to create a warming soup that was made all the more heavenly with the addition of coconut milk. This is such a basic soup that can be eaten as is, or jazzed up on serving with the addition of herbs, spices and maybe a warm dollop of cream or creamy cheese. I like to eat it with a couple of slices of toasty warm bread, generously slathered in creamy butter and a shave of parmesan.
- ½ butternut pumpkin, seeds removed.
- 2 tbspns rice bran oil
- 1 leek, finely chopped (white part only)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tspn minced ginger
- 2 tspns cumin (finely ground)
- 1 tspn (coriander)
- 3-4 large carrots
- 6 cups of vegetable stock (or water + 1 stock cube)
- ½ can coconut milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- Cut the pumpkin up into smallish chunks and spread out evenly on a large oven tray. I tend to leave the skin on but feel free to remove if you prefer.
- Coat evenly in the rice bran oil and roast in the oven until soft and starting to brown (about 30 minutes, turning once).
- In a large, heavyweight pan gently melt the butter and then add the leek.
- Cook slowly until soft and translucent.
- Add the ginger, garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the cumin and coriander and cook gently until fragrant. The spices will start to smell 'warmer' after cooking for about 30-40 secs.
- Add the carrots and coat well in the onion spice mix.
- Add the stock and gently scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any bits that may have stuck to the bottom.
- Add the pumpkin to the pan, mix well and then bring to a gentle boil.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are soft.
- Using an immersion blender, gently blend the soup until smooth. If you don't have a blender then you could use a potato masher.
- Add the coconut milk and stir well to combine.
- Season to taste, I added about a teaspoon of salt and the same again of black pepper.
- Serve piping hot with crusty bread.
Chives, finely minced.
Coriander, roughly chopped.
Cashew Cream Cheese (vegan option)
Brazil nut, grated over the top. (vegan option)