Thick and Silky Pumpkin Soup7:45 AM
I don't know about you, but Winter is just about the perfect time to enjoy soups. I myself could call them lunch, dinner, and possibly breakfast. I love soups, well, now that I am a sophisticated grown up anyway. As a kid, I hated them, and sadly this is how meals started in my family. If I could go back in time I would tell my 7 years old self that she is plain old stupid for whining in front of her plate of tomatovevetablemushroomcreamwhatever soup.
Soups are also easier to make from scratch than one think. In India, the only challenge being finding stock. Something I haven't yet been able to find. The closest would be the Magic Masala Cube from Maggi. Their chicken cubes will somewhat do the trick, their vegetable variant is sadly not up to the mark...at all.
The best solution would be to make your own stock and freeze it, and a I admit I prefer chicken stock over vegetable stock, and have no idea how to make a homemade veggie based one.
To make a chicken stock, you need chicken bones. I usually save these each time I make a roast chicken and dump the whole leftover carcass in my rice Cooke, add lots of water, some salt and boil them for hours, adding water regularly. The longer they cook, the more flavourful the stock will be. I then pour it in old take out containers and put them in the freezer.
But, back to my pumpkin soup shall we? To make it you will need the chicken stock mentioned above. It would also be a good idea to have pumpkin purée on hand, and that pumpkin spice mix :
If you don't have any pumpkin purée ready, making your own won't take too long, you just need to cube enough fleshy pumpkin and cook it in as little water as possible and mash using a potato masher. Like chicken stock, I do these in batches when they are at their ripest and freeze. I invite you to try it, to save yourself time and possibly your sanity.
And now, the recipe you were waiting for!
You will need :
4 cups of chicken stock
2-3 cups of pumpkin purée
One big white onion sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp Pumpkin spice mix
Salt and pepper to taste
Walnuts to garnish (optional)
1) Heat about 2 tbsp butter in a flat bottomed sauce pan (I use my Dutch oven pan). Once the butter has melted sauté the onion and garlic until they start turning golden brown and give out a nice fragrant flavour (it takes about 2 minutes)
2) Once the onion and garlic is ready, pour the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice mix, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil and switch of the heat once it does.
3) You will need a stick/hand blender at this point. If you don't have one, a good old mixie will do too. BUT, and I can't stress that enough, it is very important. Do NOT put the boiling hot mix in the mixie right away, let it cool first.
If you have a stick blender (and you should, they rock), plug it in and immerse directly into your pan full of clumpy lumpy soup and blend it to a smooth velvety cream.
You are done
Serve it with toasted bread and sprinkle walnut on top. You can also add fresh cream to it before serving, though it is against completely optional. This is a thick soup, if you want it to be runnier, add more chicken stock or less pumpkin purée.