All those days I was trying to figure out what to do with the pumpkin I had purchased a while back.
It was finally ready and had ripened.
I was pondering over the idea of making something more creative.
Halloween is nearing and you know I like to play around with ideas.
Somehow, I always had this spicy pumpkin soup in my mind.
Inspiration is anyway omni present online, but I wanted to do something different.
I was set on a different type of dish.
Then again the image of the spicy pumpkin soup wasn’t going to leave me alone, it was haunting me!
Here we are, me and you and the bright yellow, thick pumpkin soup.
I wish, I could pass you a soup spoon so that you can dig in straight away.
Comfort remains, you can always make it at home, because for once I haven’t used any special or difficult to find ingredients.
What you will need, is just some good quality pumpkin, onion and a few spices.
The recipe contains some typical European soup spices,
Nutmeg, Bayleaf and Juniper Seeds are the stars of this dish.
Some common popular Indian spices, such as Coriander Seeds and Turmeric Powder also take front row.
The pumpkin type that i used here in Goa was a bit sweeter than the ones I have come across in Europe.
If yours is a bit plain and not as sweet, you may want to add a Teaspoon of sugar.
This is so you can balance out the spiciness of the soup.
How to use spices to balance flavors?
You have to know, that the recipe is suitable for a person that isn’t used to any type of spicy, hot food.
With that I mean a Westerner, more precisely a European who is accustomed to a creamy herbal rich diet.
My aim is to introduce you to the world of health benefits of spices.
Often I am asked by contemporaries what are spices such as Turmeric powder?
How can one include them in the weekly meal planning.
You might remember, that I had revealed previously my troubles in the first months I was in India with hot,spicy and rich foods.
It was a battle and I swear I couldn’t swallow a spoonful of veg masala at the time.
As a matter of fact, even today, I don’t cook spicy foods.
I like it more balanced and so I mostly cut down on Chili, because the Chili (for me) is the pungent hot devil behind all this.
For some other people it might be another spice.
For example my husband and my sister find clove to be very heating, I in turn like to chew on them. ^.^
So you see, it pretty much depends on the spice type and on your taste preferences.
Sensitivity of the human palate
Children often have the trouble with grown up food.
Ever wondered why they were so fussy?
10 years ago I remember having a Cheeseburger and Fries addiction, now it just tastes plain and boring.
Presently I enjoy cauliflower for example back then it was a big no no.
Scientists have proven before that a child’s tongue is extra sensitive.
My conclusion is that a person who has never had the chance to grow up with spicy food might just have the same issue towards hot dishes.
Just like a child that won’t eat up the vegetable soup, because it tastes “weird”.
I bet if you give an Indian, who has never eaten anything but spicy curries a plate of lightly seasoned grilled chicken, they’ll think it is tasteless and boring.
I have made a fusion dish of a french classic, the Quiche de Goa, and the apprehension of not enjoying plain foods melted away.
So, when you are making this particular pumpkin soup, you’ll come to the conclusion that it is quite mellow.
Most of the people feel the heat of a dish comes from chilies, I decided to add an other dimension to the recipe.
That is why, I beefed it up with a simple chili cream blend, which can be added as a topping to your soup.
Here again you can adjust the amount of chili and cream to your preference.
Did you grow up eating Spices in your food?
What were the common spices used in meals during your childhood?
- ½ kg Pumpkin - already cut into cubes
- 1 Onion
- 3-4 Garlic Cloves
- 600 ml Veg stock
- 2 Tsp Cordiander Seeds
- 1½ Tsp Cumin Seeds or 1 Tsp Caraway Seeds
- 1 small Bay leave
- 1 inch long Cinnamon stick piece
- 2-3 Juniper Seeds
- dash grated Nutmeg
- 2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste ( blend ⅔ Garlic + ⅓ fresh ginger to a paste/ can be stored)
- 1 Tbs Turmeric Powder
- pinch Salt
- pinch Pepper
- pinch Ajinomoto - optional
- 2 Tsp Chili powder
- 3 Tbs Cream
- First of all cut your onion into thin slices, chop you garlic cloves and cut the pumpkin into rough cubes. Heat a pot with some cooking oil and fry the Onions translucent, then add the Pumpkin pieces and chopped Garlic.
- Smash first the Coriander Seeds a bit so that the flavors of the spice are released and then do the same with the cumin/caraway seeds.
- Now, pour in the Veg stock to your cooking pumpkins and add the smashed spices and all the other spices and seasoning to the soup. (Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Bay leave, Cinnamon stick, Juniper Seeds, Nutmeg, Ginger Garlic Paste, Turmeric Powder, Salt, Pepper, Ajinomoto)
- Bring it to a rolling boil and take back the heat to a simmering point. Keep it on slow flame, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. That will help the seasoning and spices to come out in the dish.
- Keep the soup aside to cool after the cooking process is finished. Discard the Bay leave, Cinnamon Stick and Juniper Seeds then blend the soup smoothly so that no bits are left.
- For the Chilli cream, just combine the 2 ingredients to a smooth blend. If the result is too red, be prepared to heat up your tongue and throat! Add some of the chili cream just before serving onto the soup. Enjoy it hot!