It might not be Winter yet, but if the weather in Sydney of late is anything to go by (rain galore!), the chill is going to set in real soon. And with cooler weather comes soul-warming soups — are we right? If you're a fan of this liquid meal then we promise you'll love this recipe by culinary superstar, Belinda Jeffrey. It's rich in spices, herbs and pumpkin, and balanced out by the creaminess of coconuts. And best of all? Completely meat-free!
This recipe uses a tiny amount of white sugar, so for a healthy alternative the POPSUGAR Australia team suggests using the natural sweetener — stevia. A pinch to 1/16 teaspoon of stevia is equivalent to 1 tsp of sugar.
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ½ tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
3 heaped tsp ground cumin
2 heaped tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 heaped tbsof your favourite curry paste (I use Pataks Tikka Masala paste)
2 tbs sun-dried tomato pesto (or regular tomato paste)
2 ½ kg pumpkin (preferably butternut or Kent), peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbs sugar
2 to 3 tsp sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1.75 litres water
270ml light coconut cream
Juice ½ to1 lemon, to taste
Herb leaves (tarragon or coriander are lovely) and flowers, optional, to serve
- Warm the olive oil in a very large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook them, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Now add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
- Scoop in the spices, curry paste and tomato pesto or paste and cook, stirring all the while, for another minute or so to release their fragrance. I love doing this as the warm aroma of the spices smells brilliant.
- Tumble in the pumpkin and give it a good swizzle around so it is coated in the spicy mixture (you will need a bit of elbow grease to do this as there is rather a lot of pumpkin).
- Finally, add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and water. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to the boil, then reduce the heat to low so it bubbles gently. Partly cover the pan and cook the soup for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pumpkin is very tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly, then puree it in batches in a blender, or with a stick blender in the pan. Gently re-heat it then stir in the coconut cream, keeping a little bit back for serving. Taste the soup and add more salt or lemon juice if necessary.
- To serve the soup, ladle it into warm bowls. Dribble a little of the reserved coconut cream over the top, along with a good grinding of black pepper and a few tarragon leaves and flowers, if using.