Tuesday, October 1, 2013

{Vegan} Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

Friends!  Countrymen!  It's Fall, ya'll!  And that means pumpkin everything!  It's only October 1st and already I've had my first pumpkin spice lattes (note the plural there--who's counting?) and last night had my first 'lil piece of pumpkin pie.  Perfection.

Now let me tell you a little story about pumpkin.  Last year my local Sprouts Market had a sale on cans of organic pumpkin.  I mean, an amazing sale.  As in I couldn't pass up the chance to buy 2 dozen cans of pumpkin for a song.  Sooo....I've had cans of pumpkin in my pantry for quite some time and for some reason I just couldn't get up the nerve to make pumpkin pie in July, you know?  Something didn't seem quite right.

But now it's October and there's that slightly smoky smell in the air and a chill when I'm walking to my car in the mornings.  Perfect weather for pumpkin cookery.

I love velvety blended soups.  This is a twist on one of my favoritest soups in the whole wide world--butternut squash soup.  Except this one has a curry twist.

We start with some chopped up carrots and onions and garlic.  Pretty much a good starting point for any soup.

This concoction of smoky, spicy and fragrant spices is heavenly.  We've got cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric and red pepper

I used some fresh ginger but didn't take a picture of it.  Just take my word for it...it's amazing in this soup. You don't feel like it's super spicy but once you swallow the silky pumpkin puree you get this cozy warmth from the ginger.

Some other players in our pumpkin drama--the canned pumpkin ("finally!" it says, "I'm getting to be in a recipe after sitting in the cupboard for a year!"), veggie broth and the secret weapon--light coconut milk. It provides the creaminess and richness our little hearts desire.

The veggies are sauteed and then sprinkled with our spice mixture and the whole soup pot just starts to glow.

Bust out the blender.  We're going to blend this soup up until it's silky smooth.

Cue the coconut milk.  Yes please!

Ooh la la!  The finished product!

Chock full of beta-carotene and potassium and totally vegan!

A slice of whole-grain toast joins the scene and is perfect for dunking in the golden soup.

Something about soup and mason jars just warms the soul.  Make soup and put it in a jar and give it to someone to show that you care!

{Vegan} Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup
*Serves 4
*Prep time: 10 minutes
*Cook time: 25-30 minutes
*Kitchen gear required: cutting board, knife, large pot, blender

1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups veggie broth
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix--that would be gross)
1 cup light coconut milk (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey (optional in case you want it a bit sweeter)
Spices (try getting your spices from the bulk section of a market like Sprouts, Whole Foods or Winco)
1 tsp.ground cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt (more to taste if you want...I don't like mine super salty)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Ready, set, go!
1.  Chop up the onions, carrots, garlic and ginger.  Heat a little veggie broth in a large pot and then throw in veggies and let them simmer and get soft--about 5 minutes--over medium heat.
2.  Add spices and let everything hang out for a minute or two.
3.  Add can of pumpkin and veggie broth and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until veggies are soft.
4.  Let soup cool for a bit before transferring to blender.
5.  Blend soup then add in coconut milk.
6.  Serve (you can transfer back to pot to heat it up a bit more or it's even better heated up the next day after all the spices have had a chance to meld).
7.  Enjoy with a slice of whole grain toast.


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