This time of year we’re all craving food that will lift us from the winter doldrums, excite the tastebuds, and negate the effects of holiday indulgence. This spiced pumpkin soup ticks all of the boxes, while still remaining true to the season and totally comforting.
Of course, curried pumpkin soup is a classic, but this recipe takes it up a notch by using homemade curry powder which is such a huge step above from the shop-bought stuff. Freshly ground whole spices are intensely more fragrant and flavoursome than pre-ground spices, which quickly go stale while sitting on the shelf.
The soup itself is very simple – you need little more than pumpkin (or other winter squash), onion, oil or butter, water and of course, the curry powder, which itself isn’t spicy so if you’d like a bit more heat in your pumpkin soup, feel free to add some cayenne or a chopped red chilli. I love this soup garnished with Greek yoghurt and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), but a good vegan standby is coconut milk and chopped coriander.
I do my soup-blending and spice-grinding in my Optimum 9400 blender which conveniently blends both wet and dry ingredients. But you could also use an immersion blender, spice grinder, coffee grinder, and so on to get the job done.
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
- 3 tbsp butter, coconut oil or a neutral oil like grapeseed
- 3 pounds of pumpkin or other winter squash (crown prince, butternut, kabocha, etc), peeled and cut into 2-3cm cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder (see below)
- Salt and pepper
- 5 cups vegetable stock or water
- Greek yoghurt
- Coconut milk
- Toasted seeds
- Sliced spring onions
- Chopped coriander
- Put the butter or oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. When hot, add the pumpkin and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft.
- Add the curry powder, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, give it a stir and cook until fragrant (a minute or so). Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is totally soft (about 30 minutes).
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender or jug blender (if using a jug blender, let the soup cool a bit as hot liquids can be explosive when blended!).
- Serve hot with garnishes if you’d like.
Homemade Curry Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg pieces
- Seeds from 5 cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- One 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dried curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- Put all the ingredients except the fenugreek in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly toasted and fragrant. During the last few moments, add the fenugreek.
- Let everything cool and then grind to a fine powder (you can use a high powered blender for this, or a spice or coffee grinder). Store in a well-sealed container. This will keep nicely for a few months.
For more healthy blender recipes, check out my fellow #jumpstart15 comrades: