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Monday
Apr122010

Never-fail Pumpkin Soup

The name is so apt - feel free to adjust the three orange vegetables in this recipe to the amounts of whatever is in your fridge - add some celery with the onion for further depth, and depending on either your taste or time you can mash or blend the soup as smooth as you like - all for differing moods. The split peas give an earthiness that balances the sweetness these vegetables can have. Is great for families with toddlers - most love pumpkin soup and this recipe adds some other vegetables and protein for a more rounded meal. They love to do the mashing as well!

"This is good for Vegetarians and Vegans and is a handy way of combining protein and veggies into a one plate meal"– Kalina Koloff.

Pictured: “Never-fail Pumpkin Soup”

1 large brown onion
1.5cm knob of ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 litre chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 cup yellow split peas
1 medium butternut pumpkin, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
Optional, depending on how spicy or aromatic you like your food –
1 tsp of mustard seeds or curry powder
Or a few pinches of cayenne pepper
Or ½ tsp of garam masala and a pinch of nutmeg

Heat up a little olive oil in a heavy based saucepan.
Soften onions, add ginger and lightly fry.
Add spices, plus any optional spices, and toast - once they release their fragrance add in warmed stock bring liquid to boil and add split peas.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Check everything is soft and then blend til smooth or manually mash with a potato masher if you prefer a more rustic consistency- as pictured above.

To serve, sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander and light sour cream or good Greek yoghurt. You could also sprinkle with chopped parsley, chives or spring onions.
Serve with crusty bread, cheese and herb scones or garlic naan – all are good on the side depending on the spices you added at the beginning.

Serves 6 – 8

TasteTip - Pumpkins used to be such a cheap vegetable their flesh was originally used to bulk out the dough in pumpkin bread, particularly in France where it was called pain de courge. Now it is an expensive treat like brioche, eaten with coffee or as a snack.