09 October 2010

Autumn Color

Coconut Curry Soup

When the weather starts to turn in Autumn, I like things that are warm, and warming. I love making soup. Normally, when I say I'm making soup I mean a specific vegetable soup that requires a full afternoon of puttering around the house and occasionally tending the soup. There isn't always time for that. So I make other soups. This one has the virtue of being simple and fairly quick, assuming you have average knife skills and you know vaguely where things are in your kitchen. (I just barely meet those qualifications.) And what says Fall better than pumpkin? It's also smooth and creamy and comforting. The smooth does require blending. I use an immersion blender, which you really should put on your wish list if you don't have one, but you can use whatever soup blending technology you have available.

A note on spice mixes: People Who Are Very Into Food will tell you that pre-made spice mixes are evil and you should toast and grind your own spices. And they're right. And someday I will be that organized. But right now I'm not. I make it a point to buy small quantities (no tubs from the warehouse store) in stores that have high turnover. I also make it a point to buy blends that don't have salt in them. I prefer to control the spiciness and the saltiness of food separately.

If you have broth, you can use it instead of the water, but cut the salt to ½ teaspoon to start, and adjust the seasoning later as the broth will add salt.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil (or if you have coconut oil this would be a good place to use some.)
1 large onion
2 teaspoons salt
1” piece fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1T salt free curry blend
2 15-ounce cans pumpkin
3 cups water
black pepper to taste.
1 14-ounce can coconut milk

Place a large soup pot over low heat and add oil.

Dice onion and add to pot, along with salt. Stir to coat onion with oil.

While onions soften, peel and mince or grate ginger. Stir ginger into onions.

Mince the garlic. Stir into onions. When you can smell the garlic, stir in the curry powder. Continue cooking over low heat until you can smell the curry powder.

Stir in canned pumpkin and water and pepper. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to lowest setting. Simmer for 15 minutes, until onions are softened. Remove from heat and blend soup carefully so as not to spoil your beautiful face by getting hot soup all over it. Stir in coconut milk. If soup has cooled heat it gently over very low heat, being careful not to let it boil.

If you want to make this a day ahead, stop before adding the coconut milk, allow to cool and then store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the soup, remove it from the heat and then stir in the coconut milk.


  1. This sounds like my sort of recipe. I don't have anything called "curry blend", though: do you think garam masala would do?

  2. Indeed, a garam masala is a blend of spices used to make a curry. In American supermarkets it's generally labeled curry powder.

  3. Yum. Garam masala is a little sweeter, to me, than what I usually get as "curry powder," but I think it'd work just fine, too. Coconut milk sounds delicious with pumpkin.



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