Pumpkin Soup

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Ever since I have read the prefix humble backyard vegetable for pumpkin, I have wanted to use it a lot more in my day to day cooking; it sort of reminded me that it is easily available and can even be grown at home with little effort. This low calorie vegetable is source of healthy fats, is high in potassium, rich in dietary fibre, contains many vital antioxidants, minerals, vitamins like A,C,E (antioxidants) amongst other nutritional properties. Let’s discuss pumpkin soup today. It’s a filling soup.

You will find two recipes, one bland and the other with chilli-cream seasoning. I think I found the spicy version online and when made it, guests just loved it. All the herbs we have used add a touch of Ayurveda to the soup, making it healthy and nourishing. Bay leaf, cinnamon, juniper turmeric etc have high medicinal value. If you don’t have and can’t find juniper in your nearby grocery stores, skip it!

1 tablespoon olive oil

On onion coarsely chopped

T teaspoons ground cumin (jeera powder)

1 kg coarsely chopped pumpkin

1 litre vegetable stock

A dollop of fresh yoghurt

1-2 garlic cloves

Over medium flame, heat olive oil in a broad based saucepan. Put sliced or coarsely cut onion in it and sauté for about 5 minutes or until it turns golden. At this stage sprinkle cumin and continue to cook, after a minute or so you will smell the aroma of cumin. At this point, add pumpkin and stir until all the ingredients get properly mixed. Now add vegetable stock, let it boil on low flame for 15-20 minutes. Once pumpkin turns soft, switch off the gas and keep the pan aside for 10 minutes to cool.  Hand blend into smooth soup consistency. Now whenever it is time to serve, bring it to a boil!

You can serve pumpkin soup with wheat bread roasted croutons. They can be cooked on a char-grill. Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil on bread pieces and spread it with the cut side of a garlic clove, which will give it subtle garlic aroma. Top the soup (individually in bowls or put in the pan) with spoon ful of natural yoghurt. Bread makes for a good accompaniment.

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