Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Ginger

This soup is straightforward and fairly quick as homemade soups go, and involves (are you ready?) both pumpkin and curry leaves. Needless to say, I adore it. It's good on its own, and downright heavenly if you pair it with toasted strips of whole wheat lavash bread—just take a sheet of lavash, slice it crosswise into 1-inch strips with a pizza wheel, and lay the strips on a baking pan that you've lightly coated with olive oil. Toast in a 400°F oven for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, then use the strips to dip in the soup as a sort of edible spoon.

Which brings me to a point that's been bothering me for seven to ten seconds now: Why aren't all spoons edible?

Olive oil
10-12 fresh curry leaves
1 large sweet onion, chopped
Medium-hot, good-quality curry powder
Fresh ginger, sliced thinly and julienned (about 1 tsp or a bit more)
15 oz canned pumpkin (one can)
1/2 bay leaf
3 cups chicken and/or veggie broth
Ground cumin
Freshly ground white pepper
Pastured cream
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add a glug of olive oil. Add the curry leaves and let sizzle, stirring occasionally, for about 30 seconds, then add the onion and saute until golden around the edges, turning the heat down slightly if necessary.

Push the onion to the side of the pot, and add about a tbsp of olive oil to the empty side. Add a spoonful of curry powder and the ginger, and toast in the oil for 10-20 seconds, then stir to combine with the onion.

Stir in the pumpkin, broth, and half bay leaf (the half is so you can figure out which is the bay leaf rather than the curry leaves later on, to fish it back out). Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat, remove the half bay leaf, and blend with a hand blender until smooth or desired consistency. Add additional ginger, a dash or four of cumin, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in a slosh of cream.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro, and serve warm (rather than piping hot, which actually obscures some of the flavor) with strips of toasted lavash or pita bread.

Serves 3-4.

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