I almost made you read my story this time, because I love pumpkins so much, but then, I remembered that the star of this blog keep being the recipes, so, you can click here to go straight to the recipe.
If you reach the oracle and type “pumpkin soup” you’re going to be facing hundreds of recipes with all kinds of pumpkins. All kinds and tastes. Acorn, butternut squash, kaboucha… Soups with coconut milk, curry, sweet potato, chicken, meat, cheese…
I’m the first to try out different twists to my ordinary everyday soup. A spice or a small detail can make everything change. And that might be the reason why I never get tired of it.
Some people have chocolates everyday. Bread, cheese, tomatoes, pasta… I do pumpkins. Anyone who knows me just a tiny bit already heard of my crazy feelings towards this fruit. Oh yeah, pumpkins are a fruit.
With lots of fiber and low fat, which makes it a great ally on a diet, pumpkins are rich in betacarotene and vitamin C that, combined, help reinforce the imune system. And let me tell you how powerful this betacarotene is. It’ll turn the palm of your hand orange. You can’t pretend you don’t eat pumpkin. But that’s not the only thing that makes them powerful. Pumpkins has one of the highest concentration of betacarotene and our bodies turn it into vitamin A; that’s great for the sight and it’s a powerful antioxidant helping keep our skin, bones and teeth healthy. And as if it wasn’t enough, they’re boosted with vitamin B and minerals such as calcium, iron, copper and potassium.
Rumor has it that they also help us sleep because it has tryptophan, the amino acid that helps our body to produce serotonin. Well, maybe that’s why I became addicted to having pumpkin soup everyday for dinner.
Do you need any more reasons to get the pumpkins into your routine? Of course you do! I wasn’t even a bit worried about all that when my mother offered me a creamy pumpkin soup on a cold winter night during my “diet”. – there’s a post on how the creamy soup got into my life. Click here to get all the tips on how you can make a beautiful (and simple) soup, that’s ready in a heart beat and goes on the “as much as you want” column on your meal plan. For someone who’d still handle veggies with some caution, the only thing that mattered to me was that it would taste good.
I love all pumpkins, but my true and first love is the kabocha squash that has a super sweet, tender and slightly nutty flavor. The skin is hard, I’ll give you that, but you don’t have to peel it and the smooth flesh makes it also a great and tender caramelized roasted pumpkin.
The kabocha pumpkin (Japanese pumpkin) makes a wonderful smooth cream. Mammy would make this delicious vegetable stock (with no carbs nor protein and very little grease), and she would cook the pumpkin on it and then would blend it all together. Dreamy! In no time I became an unhappy “child” whenever she decided not to give me pumpkin soup for dinner. In no time the palm of my hand turned orange and my mom got worried. “Is she not having other kinds of food just to have pumpkins? – asked my nutritionist when my mother complained to her. “No! She eats everything e it’s getting more and more varied.” – she had to answer, for it was nothing but the truth. “So let her be happy with her pumpkin soup, if she doesn’t mind having the orange hands.” – said my nutritionist.
And happy I was. And I keep on being. And I’m here to share my ultimate joy with you all. Far from me to try and give you a definitive pumpkin soup recipe, but I want to share my way of doing it and I invite you to also add your personal touch to it.
Now let’s get to the recipe that won’t take mom’s homemade stalk for it’s a much simpler version, but not at all less tasty.
The pumpkin soup from the crazy pumpkin lady
1/2 celery stalk
1/2 green apple (optional)
500g of kabocha pumpkin un cubes
1/2 lemon peel
Chili flakes to taste
Salt to tase
1 table spoon of oregano (or any kind of herbs you like such as thyme, rosemary or tarragon, for exemple)
1 spoon of massala
Let’s start with our pumpkin. I know that in some places you can find the pumpkin pre sliced (and even peeled) but if you’re not one of those “lucky” persons or if you feel like facing your raw whole pumpkin open hearted, let me say that a good knife will do the trick. And also, practice leads to perfection. Anyhow, besides asking you to have a good knife, I have a few tricks under my sleeve that might also help you with it.
- Tip for those who have/use a microwave:
Roll some XX paper all around the pumpkin and take it to the microwave on high for about 7 minutes. Stick a fork on it to see if it’s tender enough. If not, ‘cause microwaves tend to be different from each other, just repeat it in 1 minute intervals until you feel it’s soft enough for you to cut it.
- Tip for those who don’t own/use microwave:
It’ll take a bit longer, but it’s just as useful. All you have to do is place the entire pumpkin in the oven (350•F) for about 20 minutes. After that, just play the same trick as for the microwave tip and poke your pumpkin with a fork to see if it’s done.
Either way, I advice you to wait for the pumpkin to cool a bit before dealing with it. And remember to keep the peel on and do save the seeds for roasting – an awesome snack option that I already showed you how to do here. Quick and easy and fast on your microwave.
Chop the onion, the leek, the celery and the apple and throw it on a large pan with the pumpkin. You can do chunks for we’ll blend it all in the end anyway. Add the spices, the salt and chili flakes. If you’re not sure about the amount of spices, salt and, mainly, pepper, just go easy on it. Once the soup is ready you can add some more but we can never take it out. Cover the veggies with water (I do hot water just to make it faster) but be aware to do add too much water, or else you’re going to end up with a liquid soup. Here is the same as for the spices. You can add more water if you feel it’s too thick, but we can’t go back.
Cover the pan and let it cook on high until it boils. Lower the heat and keep cooking until your pumpkin is soft (if you did the microwave or oven thing it’ll be quicker). When it’s done, just discard the lemon peel.
If you have a hand mixer you can blend your soup right in the pan. If not, just throw everything on a blender. Careful with the blender, though. Wait for the soup to cool a bit or just use a cloth and keep your hands on top of the lid of the blender cup to avoid the hot liquid to explode due to the vapor.
If you think it’s too thick just add some water. It’s a matter of taste. Some like it thinker, some like it watery.
Now all you have to do is taste and adjust the spices.
I like to squeeze half a lime on it to add some acidity. Sometimes I add se spinach that’ll cook with the heat of the broth. Or some escarole (the Italian in me). You can trade the massala for curry. Or just do a pinch of cinnamon.
Explore your taste and creativity and come the amazing orange hands world.