Flavourful, inexpensive and nutritious, pumpkin is useful for so much more than just yummy pies. I love making soups with pumpkin as the base as it has a sweet, subtle flavour that lends itself to countless interpretations. You could use canned, unsweetened pumpkin instead, but it’s very easy to roast a smaller pumpkin and your soup will have a much better flavour. I recommend avoiding larger, jack-o-lantern sized ones as they tend be stringier and less sweet. This soup freezes well and like many spiced foods, tastes better the day after it has been prepared, once the flavours have had more time to blend.
- One 2.5 – 3 pound pumpkin
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups vegetable stock *
- 1/2 cup heavy (35%) cream
* Note: You can use purchased vegetable stock if you’d like, although it is really easy and inexpensive to make your own – click here for my recipe
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cut unpeeled pumpkin into eighths and remove seeds. Place pumpkin segments flesh side up in a roasting pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Use a brush or your fingers to spread oil evenly.
- Roast pumpkin for 40 – 45 minutes, until flesh is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
- When pumpkin is cooked, remove from oven and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes until the segments are cool enough to handle.
- Peel the skin off the pumpkin segments and chop the flesh into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
- Prepare the garnish by toasting the coconut in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for 3 -5 minutes until it is golden brown, shaking skillet often. Watch it carefully as it can burn quickly. As soon as it is toasted, transfer to a bowl so it will not keep cooking.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and sauté the chopped onion, then add in the spices and cook until fragrant (about 3 – 5 minutes).
- Add in the carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the chopped, cooked pumpkin and the vegetable stock; stir to combine.
- Increase heat and bring to a boil the reduce heat to medium and simmer, partly covered, for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion (stick) blender until it is fairly smooth (or use a regular blender and work in small batches).
- When ready to serve, reheat the pureed soup and add the cream, stirring to combine. Do not let it come to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle soup into warmed bowls and top each with 1 – 2 teaspoons of toasted coconut.
Serves 6 – 8 depending upon the size of your bowls.