I have just finished making a new recipe – Roasted Pumpkin, Chili and Coriander Soup – which I found in an old food magazine I’d schlepped back from South Africa over 10 years ago! When I tasted it I nearly cried – not because it was a disaster (I don’t publish my disasters, and I do have them) but because the flavors in this soup are just so unbelievable. The eastern flavors lift the pumpkin to new heights and bring an incredible zing into your soup bowl.
I highly recommend that you drop everything you’re doing and go out to buy the ingredients for this soup and make it now! I know this sounds obnoxiously pushy, but I can assure you that you will not regret taking my advice.
I’m not writing another word – straight to the recipe!
ROASTED PUMPKIN, CHILI AND CORIANDER SOUP
1½ kg (3½ lb) pumpkin, peeled and cut into even sized pieces
3 large onions peeled and quartered or sixthed (I know there’s no such word, but in my world it means cutting it into six segments – this should be a word, if quartered is one…)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 teaspoons of minced fresh ginger
1 green chili de-seeded and finely chopped
400 ml (13 fl oz) coconut milk (one can)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons fish sauce (½ teaspoon salt, only if you can’t find fish sauce)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander leaves
How to do it
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Line a roasting pan with baking paper and drizzle with olive oil just to cover. Place the pumpkin and onions on the tray and season with salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, turning over the pumpkin once in the middle, until the pumpkin is cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, add the olive oil and saute the chili for a minute over medium heat. Then add the ginger and garlic and saute for another minute or two, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add the coconut milk and stock. Mix, turn off the heat, cover the pot and remove from the hot plate. Leave the pot for a few minutes so the flavors can infuse with the stock and coconut milk.
4. Remove the vegetables from the oven (removing the very top layer of each onion piece as they are usually papery) and transfer into the stock pot, pouring any juices into the pot that have accumulated in the pan. Add the sugar and fish sauce and mix. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat, allowing the soup to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
5. Add the coriander and allow the soup to cool down for a few minutes. Then liquidize the soup till smooth.