All those days I was trying to figure out what to do with the pumpkin I had purchased some 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 my spicy pumpkin soup in my mind. Inspiration over flow is anyway omni present online, but I wanted to do something different. I was set on a particular, different type of dish, but then again the image and memory of the spicy pumpkin soup wasn’t going to leave me alone, you could say, it was haunting me!
Here we are, me and you and the bright yellow and thick pumpkin soup. I wish, I could pass you a soup spoon so that you can dig in straight away, however that internet technology hasn’t been invented yet, so I have to apologize for the little tease. Comfort remains, you can always make it at home, because for once I haven’t used any special rare ingredients. What you will need, is just a pumpkin, an onion and a couple of spices.
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The recipe contains some typical European soup spices, such as Nutmeg, Bay leave and Juniper Seeds, as well as some common popular Indian spices, such as Coriander Seeds and Turmeric Powder. The pumpkin type that i used here in Goa was a bit sweet and the ones I have come across in Europe were pretty sweet as well, but if yours is a bit too plain you may want to add a Teaspoon of sugar, just so that you can balance out the spicy soup a bit. 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 benefiting spices, as I had mentioned here before in other posts!
Often I am asked by contemporaries what those spices such as Turmeric powder are and how one could 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 food. It was a battle and I swear I couldn’t swallow a spoonful of veg masala at the time. In fact even today, I don’t cook too hot and spicy, 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. Children often have the trouble with grown up food. Ever wondered why they were so fussy? 10 years ago I was in my Teens and back then I remember having a Cheeseburger and Fries addiction ( I won’t lie), nowadays it just tastes plain and boring to me. Presently I enjoy cauliflower for example back then it was a big nono. Scientists have proven before that a child’s tongue is extra sensible and I came to the conclusion 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”.
If you give an Indian, who has never eating anything else but spice curries and the such, a plate of grilled chicken with rosemary and thyme, you will realize that he is calling it tasteless and boring. I have tried it many times before, they just didn’t want the all so famous french food, but if I would make a fusion dish of a french classic, just as I did with the Quiche de Goa, then you will see it disappear in a minute and the person might just ask for some more.
So, when you are making this particular pumpkin soup, you ll come to the conclusion that it is quite mellow, and since most of the people feel the over hotness of a dish comes from chillies, I decided to add an other dimension to the recipe. That is why, I beefed it up with a simple chilli cream blend, which can be added as a topping to your soup. Here again you can adjust the amount of chilli and cream to your preferences. Otherwise just follow my measurements for the beginning so that you can experiment and learn to know your spice likings and amounts.
Did you grow up with Spices?
What type of spices were common in 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!