When there’s a chill in the air and the mornings are dark it’s the time of year for soups that nourish and warm you. My curried pumpkin soup hits the spot. This is a thick soup, the kind your spoon can almost stand up in. It’s packed full of vegetable goodness. You’re just going to want to eat this by the bucket load!
Curried pumpkin soup, perfect for autumn
I love this time of year, I love to marvel at the colour of the leaves, the yellows, the reds, the russets. I love the chill of the air on my skin. And the feeling you get when you come out of the cold into a warm snug house. It’s the time of year when all you want to do is slouch around the house, stay warm and snuggly, and indulge yourself in a binge session of your favourite series. And it’s the time of year to make soup.
I was really keen to make a curried pumpkin soup. My first attempt at this soup turned out too watery and overpowered by the chilli. I had to try again, to create a soup that warms you from the inside out.
Back to the chopping board to rework my pumpkin soup
I tweaked the spices taking out the chilli – it dominated the flavour of this soup. I reduced the amount of water and increased the cauliflower content. And the result is a soup that is lightly flavoured with cumin, coriander and garam masala. As a garnish, I’ve used cumin seeds and a scattering of coriander leaves. I like to add a final flourish of cream which can easily be substituted for a non-dairy cream.
Ingredient for this pumpkin soup
I’m a sucker for butter in my soups, there’s something magical when I cook down onions and garlic in butter. If you need a non-dairy version, olive oil is a good substitute.
Leeks, carrots and celery
I use this trio of vegetables to create the base of this soup. Finely chop your leeks, carrots and celery and let them sweat in the butter, onions and garlic until soft and mushy. This will help to build the flavour of your soup.
I use a whole head of cauliflower, breaking it up into florets before adding it to the pot. I give the cauliflower a good stir to coat it in the vegetables and the onions and garlic.
My tip here is to chop the pumpkin into small cubes around 2cms squared so the pumpkin can be coated fully by the spices.
The coriander, cumin and garam masala will pack a punch, the turmeric adds the colour.
If you’re not keen on cauliflower you can substitute this for potatoes. To make this soup vegan I suggest swapping the butter for olive oil and garnish with a plant-based cream of your choice.
- 2 tbp butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 leek sliced (white part)
- 1 carrot roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery roughly chopped
- 500 g cauliflower florets
- 500g pumpkin flesh chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- Cumin seeds
- coriander leaves
- 1 tsp of cream / plant-based cream per serving
- In a large saucepan heat the ghee
- Add the onions, garlic, leek, carrots and celery and fry until soft and transparent. This may take about 15 minutes
- Add the cauliflower florets, stir into the onions, garlic and leeks and cook until the florets start to soften
- Now add the pumpkin pieces followed by the ground spices. Stir until the vegetables are coated by the spices
- Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, pop the lid onto the saucepan and allow the vegetables to cook until soft (a skewer should glide easily into the pumpkin)
- Take off the heat, and allow the contents of the saucepan to cool slightly
- With a stick blender blend the soup. This is a thick soup if you prefer it a little thinner, just add a little water. Taste and season with salt and pepper
- Pour the soup into bowls, garnish with a spoonful of cream and a sprinkle of cumin and some coriander leaves