Saturday, September 7, 2013

Coconut-Pumpkin Soup

Fall is in the air, and after the best summer I can remember... I am finally ready for a new season. Bring on crisp fall days, and different comforting foods as a change of pace.

I remembered the first time that I had pumpkin soup when I was about 8 or 9 on Halloween night.  My Mom served it in a hollowed out pumpkin shell (stand back... this was before Martha OR pinterest) and served it to us before we went trick or treating.  We thought it was SO cool.  But weird. At the time because we had never heard of pumpkin soup.

A couple things about the (optional) ingredients.... I'm not sure I'm a fan of slightly sweet soups, so if you're concerned too, leave out the sugar and taste it before adding.  Add a little at a time.  I added the entire two tablespoons and was dismayed by the amount of sweetness.  So, then I added the cayenne pepper to balance the flavors. My finished soup was spicy and sweet, which as very tasty, but might be too spicy for some.

This soup took me about 20 minutes from start to finish, and was comforting on a rainy, stormy day.

Serves about 6

2 medium carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated, or 1 tsp dry ginger 
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups vegetable broth (or 1 14oz. can)
2  tablespoons packed brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1 14 ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro or parsley (for the top when serving)

In a large saucepan, cook carrots, sweet pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic and onion in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. I just rough chopped them because I knew I would be blending it smooth.  Add the spices- curry powder and ginger. Add the broth and bring to simmer to continue to cook the veggies.

In a blender, add the veggies and broth.  Be careful and cover well, holding the top of your blender with a towel and blend until smooth.  Add the mixture back to the saucepan, adding the pumpkin, coconut milk, and the rest of the broth. Stir in brown sugar, salt, and cayenne, if desired. 
Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Before serving, stir in cilantro.

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