Curried Pumpkin Soup

I have been absent from this blog for a long time. There have been some major changes for me. I have a new job now working Monday to Friday and we have moved into a new house. Working routine hours over set days might have its advantages but after having worked varying shifts for the past 17 years I am still adjusting my life around my new routine. My cooking priorities have changed slightly and I am learning to make the most of my time available. By the time I have some dinner prepared I don’t have much natural light left to take nice pictures too. So blogging took a bit of a back seat but I am determined to get back to it. I was thinking about what recipe to post for a few weeks. The answer came to me as I was looking though some old pictures on my mobile phone.

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Couple of years ago around this time, I was in America touring the east coast from Virginia to Boston. Everywhere we visited there seemed to be an abundance of Pumpkins as they were gearing for Halloween. As I was talking to my friends and relatives there, I was surprised to hear that even though they were all familiar with Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Spiced Latte (a popular seasonal export by Starbucks), they were shocked to hear that Pumpkin could create a great soup. I remember that in those 15 days I had to make (at least on two occasions) pumpkin soup. Now in a land of plenty such a hearty soup should be a part and parcel of Autumn life. It’s surprisingly versatile and can absorb a lot of flavour. I have a few versions (ie with Chorizo, with Goats Cheese, with Lentil, with crab meat and so on) but for this recipe I will like to write about Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Coconut. The pumpkin could be easily replaced by Butternut Squash as I often do but at this time of the year stick with pumpkin.

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CURRIED PUMPKIN SOUP
Ingredients
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion chopped
3 cloves of Garlic
1 small to medium sized pumpkin (peeled cleaned and chopped)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 red chilli chopped
1 star anise (optional, use 1 tsp of all spice powder instead)
1 can of light coconut milk
Juice of half a lime
2 tbsp of Coriander leaves (optional)

Method :
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the star anise. Add the chopped garlic and chilli. After about 30 seconds add the chopped onion. Fry till translucent and add the pumpkin pieces, cumin and coriander powder. Stir for a minute or two before adding the coconut milk and some water to an inch over the pumpkins. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Check that the pumpkins are completely soft. Blend the soup using a hand blender. Check for seasoning and add a bit of water if necessary for the desired consistency. Simmer gently for a few minutes. Add a squeeze of lime and the chopped coriander. Serve hot.
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