I was at the India grocery store last week and I asked the storekeeper for pumpkin. He helpfully went in the back and cut me a fresh two pund slice of a yellow sweet variety! Yikes! What I had wanted was the white ash pumpkin. I has said “pooshinikkai” and he insisted that this was indeed “pooshinikkai”. I didn’t have the heart to argue after he had tried to be so helpful. So I brought it home and tossed it into the refrigerator and let it age a bit for a few days.
Today, I decided to make soup with it. It was rather hard and dry like a butternut squash. Not at all soft, crisp and moist like the ash pumpkin I had wanted.
Still, I cut it all up and froze half and made soup with the other half along with some assorted vegetables and fresh herbs from the garden. And voila! I was again rewarded with an extraordinary soup full of flavors. I ate three bowls of it for lunch and shared the rest with the neighbor family for their dinner.
And I didn’t use any rasam Powder this time. I think I am getting better at making soups. While I added some milk and butter at the end, this can be completely vegan as well. One could add a bit of coconut oil for additional flavor?
Pumpkin soup with fresh herbs
Olive Oil – 4 tbs
Chopped Sweet Onions – 1/2 cup
Chopped Shallots or leeks – 1/2 cup
Jalapeno julienne strips – 1 tbs
Ground turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Garlic cloves, minced (optional) – 1 clove
Carrots chopped – 1 cup
Fresh Ginger ( tender) minced – 1 tbs
Chopped potato – 1 cup
Asparagus – 1 cup
Ripe tomatoes chopped – 1 cup
Fresh mint diced – 2 tbs
Fresh sage Leaves minced – 1 tbs
Fresh Thyme, leaves picked – 1 tsp
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Crimini mushrooms sliced – 1/2 cup
Sauté onions in a large soup pot.
Then add leeks and garlic and turmeric.
After a minute, add the carrots and sauté till they begin to caramelize.
Add the rest of the vegetables and some salt and cover with water and bring to a boil.
Add the fresh herbs. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 min. Then, let it cool for ten minutes.
Blend/purée with a wand or blender.
Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve hot with a splash of cream or a knob of butter or chilled with a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream.