Hey Dianne – this one’s for you ;)!
My family loves pumpkin soup. Only problem is, Mitch prefers my spicy Moroccan Pumpkin and Lentil Soup, while Imogen can’t tolerate chilli and likes her soup plainer. What a dilemma. Tonight I made the Moroccan-style soup with a teensy weensy chilli, but it was still too much for Imogen. Fortunately I can throw a plain pumpkin soup together in my Thermomix in around 20 minutes. So Imogen had 1/3 Moroccan and 2/3 plain, while Mitch breathed fire from his 100% Moroccan.
Meanwhile, my client Lorna sent me a Thai pumpkin soup recipe which I haven’t tried yet but it sounds fabulous.
Please vote for your favourite!
Contestant # 1: Moroccan Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 small fresh chilli or 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 carrot, scrubbed
250 g pumpkin, cubed (if it’s a soft-skinned pumpkin like butternut, you can leave the skin on)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground turmeric
50 g no added salt tomato paste
400 g tin tomatoes – no added salt
200 g split red lentils, rinsed
600 g water or vegetable stock ( I use Dr Fuhrman’s VegiZest, a no-salt stock powder)
handful each of fresh coriander and parsley
If using Thermomix, put carrot and pumpkin in bowl and chop for 4 seconds on speed 6 then set aside. Otherwise, dice carrot and pumpkin. Put onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in Thermomix bowl and chop for 3 sec on sp 6, add all spices and 3 tbsp water and saute for 5 mins at Varoma temperature on sp 2 with measuring cup off. Or mince garlic and ginger, dice onion and saute in a large non-stick saucepan with 3 tbsp water on medium heat, until onion is soft. Add chopped vegetables, tomato paste, tomatoes, lentils and stock and cook for 25 mins at 100 deg, sp 1 (or put same ingredients into saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for 25 mins). Add herbs and puree by slowly increasing to speed 9, blending for 10 sec – be careful as the measuring cup will leap out if you take the speed up too quickly, spraying your kitchen with hot soup! If no Thermomix 😦 transfer soup to blender, add herbs and blend on high speed for 10 seconds.
We had this for dinner with steamed broccoi, asparagus and zucchini. My kids love to dunk their vegies into the soup (yes, we can take them anywhere….).
Contestant # 2: good ol’ fashioned pumpkin soup
1 clove garlic
500 g pumpkin – peeled if hard-skinned
400 ml water or vegetable stock (again, I use Dr Fuhrman’s VegiZest)
2 tsp turmeric
Chop onion and garlic in Thermomix for 3 sec on sp 6 then saute in 3 tbsp water for 5 mins at 100 deg on sp 1 (or dice, mince and saute). Add pumpkin and chop for 4 sec on sp 6 (or dice pumpkin and put in saucepan). Add water/stock and turmeric and cook at 100 deg for 20 mins on sp 2 (or bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins) then puree for 10 sec on sp 9 (take the speed up slowly as for previous recipe) or transfer to blender and blend until smooth.
Contestant # 3: Thai pumpkin soup with coriander pesto
2 bunches coriander, roots trimmed (a few leaves reserved for garnish)
zest and juice of 1 lime – Lorna just purees the whole lime
2 garlic cloves
vegetable oil (I always use water instead)
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste – Lorna uses Maestri red curry paste which is vegan, and is available in Woolworths
1kg pumpkin, peeled, cut into small cubes
2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
400ml canned light coconut milk
5 spring onions (shallots)
thinly sliced red chilli, to garnish
optional nutrient-booster – 1 bunch baby bok choy, finely shredded
To make the coriander pesto, process coriander, whole lime and garlic in a food processor. Blend.
Heat the oil or water for sauteing in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and stir for 1 minute. Add ginger and paste and stir for 1 minute. Add pumpkin and stock, bring to boil, then simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until pumpkin is cooked. Cool slightly, then blend until smooth. Return to the pan, add bok choy if using and simmer until bok choy is tender. Add the coconut milk and season, then warm through.
To serve, place soup in bowls and swirl in a spoonful of pesto. Garnish with the chilli and reserved coriander leaves.