Winter is slowly creeping up on us. The long, cold, dark and wet nights are drawing closer. I think it’s time to make a hearty soup that is wholesome, delicious and vegetarian. This warming soup will be welcomed by anybody and everybody. It’s thick, creamy, lightly spiced and truly scrumptious. It’s best served with crusty bread.
Calling this soup a pumpkin soup is a little cheeky, because I used a winter squash. But I won’t tell anyone, if you don’t. I wanted to use kabocha, but when I got to PCC, but the harvest hasn’t been very good this year. I then reached for a winter squash I never purchased before – red kuri. It looks like a kabocha, only it’s bright orange in color, and the flesh is slightly sweeter. I favor kabocha and kuri red because the skin really doesn’t need to be removed when cooking, it’s edible, which basically means less waste. If you really want to use pumpkin, feel free, but I’m sure most of the winter squash will work well in this soup.
CURRY-SPICED PUMPKIN, CHICKPEA & SPINACH SOUP
Makes 4-6 bowls
Inspired by “Pumpkin, Chickpea and Spinach Soup” in “Caribbean Food Made Easy with Levi Roots”
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 small onion, cut into chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, gently crushed with the blade of a knife
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 600 g (1 ⅓ lb) pumpkin/squash flesh, chopped into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks or smaller
- 1 – 410 g (14.4 oz) tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons garam masala powder*, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 litre (4 cups) water or vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 170 g (6 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves
- chili flakes to garnish (optional)
* or your favorite curry powder
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan until hot, then sauté onions, garlic and ginger until aromatic.
2. Stir in garam marsala and cumin, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Add pumpkin/squash, chickpeas and stock.
4. Bring to the boil, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until pumpkin/squash is tender. Remove from heat.
5. Using a hand (immersion) blender and blitz until smooth, or leave a little chunky. If the soup is too thick, thin down with a little more water/stock. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Toss in spinach leaves and stir until wilted. Spoon into bowls, garnish with chili flakes and enjoy!