What do you think of when you think of pumpkins? Most think of fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving treats. What do I think of? Australia.
Australia? Yeah, that’s right Australia. You see I have this problem where I connect culture and food. It becomes an imprinted memory that engulfs my senses with the pleasure traveling. I moved to Australia (the first time) in 2005 and studied abroad at Griffith University in the Gold Coast. It’s the place where I rebirthed into a new soul and began to understand the connection between food, energy and wellbeing.
I think of Australia everyday, especially when I think of pumpkin. Why? It was the first time that I did not associate this vegetable to a holiday. Pumpkin was, and is, a part of their year round diet. It was popular and a rooted part of culinary culture before the pumpkin craze hit Starbucks and Whole Foods. In Australia, I first tried pumpkin as a soup and as part of appetizer offerings. And with each concoction, I fell in love with the taste of health benefits of pumpkin. Years later, now living in Germany, I associate pumpkin to my European and Australian travels.
While living in Germany, pumpkin is an essential vegetable in the German culture. No restaurant or café exists without serving “Kürbissuppe” on his or her menu at least once every season. To say the least, I love pumpkin and order it every time it is on the menu.
This recipe is probably one of the easiest pumpkin soups to make. Part of Mind Body Spirit Food cooking philosophy is that I try to ingredients closest to nature and create simple and affordable meals.
In this recipe, I used real pumpkin. You can use any type of pumpkin and still create a delicious soup. It’s perfect for using the leftover “insides” of your Jack-O-Lantern. If you live in Germany, I buy pumpkin from the Turkish stores – “kürbis gehackt” – that are quartered pumpkin. You can try this with canned pumpkin, but the flavors and texture may differ. Also, in Germany they do not sell premade broth so everything is made with water and bouillon. You can certainly use premade vegetable broth in replace of the water and bouillon.
Anyways, back to the soup. Pumpkin soup is the perfect soul-warming food to eat during the fall months or better yet on Halloween after a cold night of trick-or-treating. Plus, as we all know pumpkin is much healthier than the candy. J
If you love fresh, home cooked soup dashed with a hint of TLC look no further than this Pumpkin Curry Soup. Isn't it amazing how nature compliments each other with bright & vibrant food that uplifts the soul?
I leave you with a message of what the German’s say – Einfach, Gut & Günstig – or as we say: Simple, Good and Delicious.
Pumpkin Curry Soup (Kürbiscurrysuppe)
Prep Time: 7 Minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 Minutes
Total Time: 27-32 Minutes
3 cups pumpkin, hacked or diced and steamed (or canned pumpkin)
1 large shallot (or 1 small onion)
1 garlic clove
1.5 tbsp olive oil
2 ¼ cup water with ½ bouillon cube (500ml) (or use vegetable broth)
3-4 tbsp coconut milk from the can* (see notes)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
1/8 tsp curry (I used mild curry powder)
Pinch of nutmeg and pepper
Prep the pumpkin, onion and garlic. You will puree this so big chunks are okay. Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the pumpkin, mix and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the water, bouillon cube and spices* (*see note) and cook on a low boil/simmer until the pumpkin is soft. You should be able to spear the pumpkin with a fork or knife. Once soft, remove from heat and puree the soup with a food processor or a hand immersion blender.
Once pureed transfer to the pot and adjust any spices if needed. This is a mild curry so if you want more “kick” add more curry.
*Note: You can either add all spices at once or just cook with the salt and pepper. Or once the soup is in the food processor, you can add the cumin, curry and nutmeg there. Also, if you want a creamier soup add more coconut milk. I use just under 1/4 cup (1/4 cup = 4 tbsp) so the soup is creamy without the coconut overpowering the pumpkin and curry flavor.
A general rule of thumb for soup is that it tastes better after 24-hours because the spices have time to settle and become potent. Isn't it amazing how nature compliments each other with bright and vibrant colors?
And for those who want to make it a ghoulishly scary soup – you still can – Happy Halloween!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com