20 November 2017

Spicy pumpkin soup

Geoff and I are just back from a lovely break in autumnal New York. I've always wanted to visit at this time of year to see the red and gold leaves in Central Park, and also to be able to walk around town without it being too hot (last time I was there is was over 35 degrees every day) or too cold (I was also there when it was -20, which while it was beautiful to see everything dusted in snow, did mean I had to run from shop to shop so I didn't die of frostbite, and also meant a worrying large number of people were wearing balaclavas which made my already quite active imagination run far more wildly than I'd prefer).

While we were there we visited ABC Kitchen for lunch, which was by far our favourite food of the trip, even beating The Dining room at Gramercy Tavern. For my starter I had a deliciously creamy, but also slightly spicy pumpkin soup, and decided I wanted to recreate it now that winter has well and truly reached Zurich.

You'll need:
  • One butternut pumpkin, or other pumpkin of your choice
  • Three large carrots
  • An onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A two centimeter long piece of fresh ginger 
  • 1 liter of chicken stock (homemade or using a stock cube)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper 
  • A good grating of fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream
  • Dill or chives
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Chop your pumpkin into chunks and drizzle with olive oil and place on a tray in the oven until golden. Of course you can just boil the pumpkin alongside everything else, but I find that by roasting it in the oven, it adds a lovely caramelized flavour to the soup.

Meanwhile, finely shop your onion, garlic and fresh ginger and saute in the pot in which you'll make your soup. Once this is golden, add in your spices, then your carrots and cook for a further minute or two. De-glaze with chicken stock. I happened to have made fresh chicken stock earlier in the week (I normally make an enormous pot and freeze a few one liter bags for when I need it in the future), otherwise you can use a stock cube. If you're vegetarian then vegetable stock would also be lovely.

Once your pumpkin is cooked, add this to the soup, and a little more water if needed. Cook until the carrots are soft.

Blend everything together using a stick blender - you can either leave it a little rustic and chunky, or blend until perfectly smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed, and even a little more spice.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill. Roasted pumpkin seeds would also be a delicious addition to this healthy and delicious soup.

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