Spiced Pumpkin Soup
I've always thought that soup is healing; it quiets your soul and relaxes your body - and it has never been so true in these troubled times.
This soup is ridiculously delicious, and yet so simple. It is bright, fragrant, comforting, hearty and super tasty. It's also creamy without any cream, it will warm you and brighten you right up! My secret spice? Cinnamon. I know, it sounds a bit odd to put cinnamon in a soup, but I promise it works wonders and you'll be so grateful you've tried it.
(For the ones among you that have an interest in Ayurveda, this is another perfect example of Vata-pacifying dish.)
Celery, 3 sticks
Leek, 1 stick
Pumpkin, 1 small / medium (the skin is edible, don't peel it)
Ghee or coconut oil, 2 tablespoons (if you don't have any of these two, use a good old regular butter)
Ginger, 2cm (less if you're sensitive to its taste)
Garlic, 2 cloves
Coriander seeds, 1 & 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon, 1 generous teaspoon
Coriander powder, 1 teaspoon
Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh coriander (cilantro), a handful for topping (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pumpkin – To make this soup you can use either pumpkin or butternut squash. When buying your pumpkin make sure you go for smaller, they hold more taste.
Leek or onion – Feel free to use either. I chose a leek as that’s what I had at home, and I used the white part of the leek. Make sure you’ve cleaned all the grit hiding in the layers.
Celery – I tend to add two or three celery stalks when making soups as they make a great flavour base with onions or leeks.
Spice - I love using a bunch of them, but you can keep it simple if you don't have the ones listed above in your pantry. If you are not a fan of coriander/turmeric combo, you could replace them with some smoked paprika and touch of cayenne pepper for example. However, if you stick to the recipe, I promise you won’t regret it!
Fresh Coriander (Cilantro) – If you are not a fan of coriander/cilantro, try using fresh parsley instead.
I like to have everything ready before I start the actual cooking process:
- chop ginger and garlic (they don't have to be too fine, roughly chopped is good)
- clear out the pumpkin of the seeds and chop in small chunks. The skin is absolutely edible, don't take it out.
- chope leeks and celery in small chunks
Needless to say that all veggies must be well-washed before you start. I have them soaked in water + white vinegar + baking soda for about 15 minutes)
Heat ghee (coconut oil or butter) in a large and deep pan. Add coriander seeds and cloves. When the seeds start popping, you can add ginger and garlic. Sauté for a good 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add all the vegetables and the rest of the spice, keep stirring for about 3 minutes so all the fragrances can infuse.
Cover with water (I go 1cm over the veggies as I like thick soup). Stir well and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer until all the vegetables are soft, approximately 20-25 minutes.
Finally, blend the soup with stick blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning to your taste and serve.
You can top it with some fresh coriander leaves or roasted pumpkin seeds.
Cook once, eat twice! Consider making double batch of this delicious soup as it freezes beautifully, otherwise you can store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Should you decide to freeze it, make sure it’s cold first, pour it into freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Make sure you leave a little room in your containers for the soup to expand as it freezes.