Hot and spicy pumpkin soup


One of the few consolations of winter is being able to eat unlimited amounts of lovely pumpkin. Pumpkin goes really well with Indian food, it has a sweetness which balances perfectly with spices and contrasts beautifully with ingredients like ginger, tamarind and lemon.

My favourite pumpkin soup is less of a recipe than an exercise of throwing everything in, and here is a rough idea of how to make it... adjust the quantities to suit your own personal preferences, once you've made it a few times you'll know what to add less or more of.  

For a family sized pot of soup, you will need:

half a large pumpkin, cleaned and diced: I like butternut pumpkin or squash 

1 tablespoon of coconut oil 

3-4 spring onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of ginger, finely grated

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

half a teaspoon of turmeric

a few cups of water or stock

1-2 teaspoons of tamarind paste (or the juice of a lemon)

half a tin of coconut milk (or more, to taste) (I use Ayam brand) 

salt and pepper (around a teaspoon of salt is good but add according to taste, especially if you use salty stock)

To make the soup, heat the oil in a large soup pot and stir fry the cumin seeds for a minute, then add the ginger, spring onions and chillies and fry a bit longer till lightly browned.  Add the pumpkin, sprinkle over the turmeric, add the stock, turn down the heat and cover the pot.  Cook until the pumpkin is mushy (around half an hour is plenty) and then blend the soup with a stick blender.  Add the tamarind, salt and pepper and a bit of coconut milk, stir, taste and serve with crusty bread or roti.