Pumpkins are a classic fall ingredient. When you think of pumpkin soup I’ll bet you’re thinking about a warm autumn meal. Despite living in a country that doesn’t really have an autumn season! My seasons in Kerala go something like this- pleasant, hot, really hot, burn-my-skin hot, wet, really wet, annual flood season and back to don’t-need-a-fan-at-night pleasant! Since we’re so close to the equator, we don’t really get that fall season but from the months of October to January it gets ever so slightly chilly and that’s when I break out the soup recipes!
Pumpkins are not my favourite. When I think of pumpkins I think less of halloween and pumpkin pies and more of that awful kaddu sabzi I avoided like the plague in boarding school. However, since I am now regretfully an adult, I decided I must broaden my horizons and expand my palate. I had this amazing soup at a friend’s place many years ago and I was surprised at how it tasted nothing like kaddu ki sabzi. The spices and stock in the recipe add a whole other dimension to the soup. Many Thai Pumpkin Soups will call for red curry paste but I can’t always get my hands on red curry paste so I’ve chosen to leave that out. The ginger and kaffir lime flavours come through just enough to still give this soup that Thai flavour!
On a good day, this soup takes me around 45 minutes. Chop up the vegetables, prepare the spices, boil it all, let it cool, blend it smooth, heat it up again and serve. It’s a whole process. Ever since I got the Wonderchef Automatic Soup Maker? Yeah it’s a total breeze! I’ll admit I was a bit sceptical of the machine. How smooth could it really make my soup? How much time am I really saving and most importantly- is it really worth it? The answers? really smooth, tons of time and YES!
While The Wonderchef Automatic Soup Maker can also make compotes and smoothies, my main focus was on how well it made soups. I am a soup junkie and a nice big bowl of soup is all I need for dinner on most evenings. So I set out to test the absolute basics with one of my favourite soup recipes that I’ve been making for ages. I must say I was thoroughly impressed with the results. There’s no doubt that it’s time saving (it took exactly 21 minutes!) but what really impressed me was how smooth the soup turned out. Which was surprising considering how small the blade seemed! I would have loved a sauté function since ingredients like onions and garlic always taste better when sautéed and added to the recipe but since I’m saving so much time on the other steps I can live without that feature! A mini fry pan like the one you get in the Royal Velvet Non-Stick 5pc Set is absolutely perfect for quick fry jobs like the one in this recipe.
Winter or summer, soups are always a fantastic addition to your meal plan. This pumpkin soup works well with pumpkins at all stages of ripeness. The riper the pumpkin, the sweeter the soup. I also like to grate my ginger directly into the soup maker for maximum flavour. While you can definitely add raw ginger directly into the soup maker I would highly recommend sautéing the onions and garlic in some oil first. Both onions and garlic need to be cooked to get rid of their raw bite. A quick sauté over medium heat is all that they need to impart the right flavour to your soup. While the recipe calls for kaffir lime leaves, you can leave that out if you don’t have any. We put in a new Kaffir Lime tree a few months ago and since then I’ve been using the leaves every chance I get!
Garnishing is the last and most fun step of soup preparation! Toasted pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, finely chopped kaffir lime leaves, sliced red chillies, peanuts and finely chopped coriander are all great options.
Time: 30 min
- 480g pumpkin chopped into 1-inch pieces (About 3 ½ cups)
- 1 green chilli
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1 medium onion
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- Salt as needed (if the stock isn’t salty enough)
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- ½ cup coconut cream
- Begin by preparing your vegetables. Chop your pumpkin into 1 inch cubes. Roughly chop the onions and crush the garlic with the back of the knife. Grate the ginger. Discard the centre vein of the kaffir lime leaves and roughly tear the leaves.
- In a small pan, add the oil and once shot add the onions. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the pumpkin, ginger, chilli, kaffir lime leaves, onions and garlic to the soup maker along with 3 cups of stock.
- Close the soup maker and select the smooth mode.
- Let the soup maker do its thing for 21 minutes!
- Once the soup maker is done, open the lid and add the coconut cream and mix well.
- Check and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve immediately with your choice of garnish.
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.