This curried roasted pumpkin soup is chockfull of flavour and texture, what with the rosemary added when the pumpkin is roasted, the mix of Indian spices, the garlic and the mint leaves, the garnish of toasted pistachio nuts and the bright pomegranate arils. Even though the ingredients list is long-ish, I suggest you don't miss out on any of them to make this dish, as together they make for a very tasty soup indeed.
Pumpkin was never a favourite with me while growing up. Mom would make parangikkai puli-kuzhambu and I would carefully discard the pumpkin at the side of my plate. Parangikkai kootu, I would not even touch. All this changed once I discovered roasted pumpkin, and now I have pumpkin as the main ingredient in my meals at least twice a week. The roasted pumpkin slices are very tasty and filling when added to a salad, and the roasting takes only a few minutes of effort.
This week it was the turn of Saswati Hota who blogs at Delish Potpourri to suggest the theme at the FB Group, FoodieMonday BlogHop. Saswati offered us the choice between 'Pumpkin Treats'. or 'Vietnamese Recipes'. I had this plump orange pumpkin sitting on my kitchen counter so I immediately voted for the Pumpkin theme, as did the other members. How this group works is that a set of themes are suggested and put to vote by members in turn each week, and we all cook as per the finalised theme and post the recipe on the Monday immediately following.
I was going to roast the pumpkin for my luncheon salad along with goats cheese, pomegranate and a heap of lettuce, but when the theme was decided, I planned the curried roasted pumpkin soup instead.
The spice powders - chili, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon and clove, make the soup rather special. I like the kick that the fresh red chili brings in when it is pureed along with the pumpkin and apple, but if you want to reduce the heat quotient, plea omit the chili and only add the pinch of chili powder as in the ingredients list.
Except for peeling and slicing the pumpkin and slicing the apples, there is very little prep required for this Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup, so don't be discouraged by the long list of ingredients. This soup is all about the flavour, and the contrast of the slightly sweet pumpkin and apple with heat of the chili.
The recipe calls for orange juice to be added before serving. Alternatively you could add cream, though the orange does give an interesting flavour to the soup. Remember to add the juice or cream only before serving and not heat the soup with either of them.
If you liked the recipe for the Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Indian spices, then you may like to check out these recipes from the blog too:
Shaheen Peerbhai's Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Pomegranate and Rocket leaves
Yotam Ottolenghi's Crusted Baked Squash with herbs and parmesan
My recipe for Patty Pan Squash Soup with Mint and Orange
Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Indian Spices
For Roasting the Pumpkin
- 2 cups pumpkin slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- a few rosemary sprigs
For Pumpkin Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Fennel seeds
- 1 fresh red chilli - optional depending on how spicy you want the soup to be
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon Shallots - about 4-5 minced
- 1/16 teaspoon red chilli powder - a pinch
- 1/16 teaspoon Coriander Powder - a pinch
- 1/16 teaspoon cinnamon powder - a pinch
- 1/16 teaspoon clove powder - a pinch
- 1/16 teaspoon turmeric powder - a pinch
- 1 cup sliced apple
- 2 cups roasted pumpkin - from ingredients above
- 2 cups vegetable stock - or water if stock is not available
- ½ teaspoon salt - or to taste
- a few Fresh Mint leaves - Or Parsley sprigs
For the Garnish
- 2 tablespoons roasted pistachio nuts
- 4 tablespoons Pomegranate arils
- 1 -2 tablespoons Fresh orange juice
To Roast the Pumpkin
- Preheat the oven to 220 C (~430 F). Pare the thick skin and slice the pumpkin into even sized chunks or into thick crescent shapes. Place the slices in a zip bag and add olive oil, rosemary leaves, salt and pepper. Shake the bag well so that the slices are evenly covered with the oil and seasonings. Or mix in the oil and seasoning onto the slices with your fingers.
- Spread the slices on a baking sheet, taking care not to crowd them on the sheet. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the slices once half way through. Remove from the oven and quickly transfer to a bowl so that they stop cooking. Dice into small pieces so that they cook quickly when added to the soup.
To make Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- While the pumpkin is roasting, finish the prep. Mince the shallots Slice the apples. I have retained the peel but you may remove them if you wish. I have used a red apple but you could instead add a Granny Smith or tart green apple. This would make the hue of the soup lighter, but would change the flavour slightly by reducing the sweetness. Keep the spice powders ready Toast the pistachio nuts on a hot pan for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently so that they do not burn. Extract the arils from the pomegranate and set aside in the fridge till required to serve. Squeeze orange juice and crush and shred a few mint leaves when ready to serve the soup.
- Heat Olive oil in a pan. Add fennel seeds and sauté for 10secs. Crush the garlic cloves and add them whole, sautéing till they begin to discolour. Add the red chilli, sauté for 10 secs. If you want to reduce the 'heat' of the soup, omit the chilli. Add the minced shallots, sauté for about 3 minutes till they are nicely fried. Add the spices - turmeric, chilli powder, clove, cinnamon and coriander powder. Stir them into the shallots.
- Add the apple slices, stir and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the roasted pumpkin slices. Stir Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the stock or water if using. Stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to allow the soup to simmer for 25 minutes. Turn off the stove and transfer the soup to another vessel to cool
- Coarsely puree the soup. It is best to do this in batches when the soup has cooled down, as otherwise it may splash out of the processor. I have learnt this from bitter experience and from trying to remove the stains of turmeric and chilli from the walls and the kitchen counter!
- When ready to serve, reheat the soup, taste for salt and add the crushed shredded mint leaves or shredded parsley sprigs. Serve hot, garnished with crushed toasted pistachio nuts and pomegranate arils. Drizzle a little orange juice on each serving.