This was an interesting project for me. I absolutely love squash, and pumpkin is a really rich type of squash. It is so much fun to cook with, and it is a great exercise in sustainability. I was looking into curry recipes that use pumpkin and so many of them were wasteful recipes- instructing the cook to “discard pumpkin skin” and just throw away those absolutely delicious pumpkin seeds. To me, there is absolutely no reason not to use every bit of this delicious squash. So, I made my own recipe, and decided to use as much of the pumpkin as I possibly could so that nothing would be wasted unneccessarily.
Also, many recipes call for the pumpkin to be roasted lightly and then skinned and cooked down. I decided instead to roast the pumpkin for a longer amount of time, at a higher temperature, in order to caramelize the skin a bit and add it into the soup as well.
Bringing these bad boys home from the grocery store was a bit of a feat. I chose them carefully from a giant bin in Whole Foods, trying to find the cutest, smallest pumpkins I could. After all, I wanted to make soup for two and maybe a few frozen servings- not soup for the whole country!
Turns out, these two pumpkins alone made about 10 servings of soup with some leftover for homemade pumpkin puree (which I later recycled into delicious pumpkin pancakes!). Aside from being much better for the environment, recipes like this are also extraordinarily economical because of how little it takes to make so much food!
Anyways, I started by placing my new friends on a baking sheet and popping them into a hot oven for about half an hour. I just wasn’t up to the task of butchering raw pumpkin, as I have endured the workout that a butternut squash provides.
Once the pumpkin was slightly softened, I grabbed my best knife- which happens to be a Wüsthof (an absolutely incredible gift from my wonderful chef mom!).
I butchered these guys carefully: slicing them open, cutting out the core and stem, and cleaning the pulp and seeds out.
I discarded the pulp and stem- I know, I know, I promised this wasn’t wasteful! I just could not figure out how to incorporate them. I placed the pulp and seeds into a small bowl.
Then, I started the process of dicing the pumpkin into rather large chunks for roasting. It always helps to have friends in the kitchen for tasks like this. For one, the amount of meat inside two pumpkins is shocking, and definitely takes a while to process. Secondly, cooking new and exciting kinds of food is an adventure, and adventures are always better when you have them with a friend!
I splashed the diced pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I let them roast in a very hot oven for about 45 minutes. They make your entire apartment smell incredible and really get you in the mood for Fall (in my opinion, even more than a pumpkin spice latte!).
While the pumpkin is cooking, I made a little stock base to add it to.
Freshly grated ginger adds the perfect spice to this kind of dish! It doesn’t overwhelm or add too much heat, but it does add a nice depth of flavor and it forms a perfect union with coconut! I went ahead and bought an entire ginger root so that I could have freshly grated ginger, and it may seem wasteful, but you can also boil it with water and make a great tea (albeit a strong one) that will cure almost any kind of stomach ache or nausea!
The stock was comprised of garlic, onions, ginger, coconut oil, curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, and a bit of lemongrass paste. It smelled incredible, and looked absolutely beautiful!
After cooking it down a bit, and letting it get even more fragrant, I started stirring it all together before adding in the pumpkin.
I added in the pumpkin with a bit of full-fat coconut milk, and let that simmer for a good while.
This is the point at which I got to work cleaning the pumpkin seeds and preparing them for toasting. You can make them two ways: cajun style (with salt, pepper, and cajun spices) or sweet (with butter, cinnamon, and sugar). I did half and half, since I had a crazy ton of seeds to work with.
You can dry them a bit and then stir them in with the seasoning.
Then, toast them in the same oven and even on the same pan. Toast until the seeds begin to get dark and caramelize.
The cajun style are shown above and the cinnamon are on the right. I sprinkled them over the soup, but also just kept them out for about a week as a nice, easy, and natural snack.
After the soup has simmered, blend it together in batches and it is ready to serve!
This was originally a guest post I created for Comparaboo’s blog. You can find the full recipe here.
For this recipe, I used all natural, vegan alternatives for everything. I enjoyed working with coconut oil and kaffir lime leaves the most! These were two, new ingredients for me and I am obsessed now! I just want to find more recipes that use these things!
This recipe does call for the use of a blender, in order to soupify the soup, but it is so worth it. The soup has such an incredibly rich flavor that freezes well and makes for a quick and easy (but still incredible) workday dinner!