Thursday, March 28, 2013

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup is the ultimate comfort food. It is rainy and bleak now in Hong Kong, and like sunshine, this soup is exactly what it takes to warm you up and drive away the gloominess.

I found that making creamy soup is not just about putting everything together in the blender. The trick required to turn an ordinary creamy soup into one that is truly fantastic, is to roast the ingredients beforehand. Roasting caramelizes and wakes up the inherent flavors of the ingredients to their max while adding to them a subtle nutty flavor. So next time you make your creamy soup, be it tomato or asparagus, roast them first and you'll definately push your soup to a whole new level!

Creamy Pumpkin Soup
(Servings: 8)
- 1.5kg of pumpkin
- 1 large potato
- 1 onion
- 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2.5 cups of water
- 2.5 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of cream
- 1/2 tsp of grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp of ground coriander
- olive oil
- salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200C. 
2. Peel and roughly dice the pumpkin, potato and onion. Place them on your baking tray (preferably wide-based) and drizzle over them around 4 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle the garlic cloves, some salt and pepper and mix everything together with your hands.
3. Shove it in the oven and bake for around 40 minutes.
4. Once done, pour in the baked ingredients into a large saucepan. Add in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of chicken stock and simmer it over slow fire until it boils. Then turn off the fire and let it cool down a little.
5. Once it has turned warm, blend it until it's smooth and creamy. (If you like it extra smooth, you may sieve this before heading to the next step. But I think the tiny chunky bits taste awesome.)
6. Pour the puree back into the saucepan and add in the remaining 1.5 cup of water and 1.5 cup of chicken stock. Over low heat, stir well so the liquid is fully incorporated into the puree. Then put on the lid and let the soup slowly simmer for around 30 minutes, with occasional stirring. 
7. Then, add in the cream, nutmeg and coriander. Stir well, taste and add in more of the spices if you want. Meanwhile, keep the fire low. You may switch it off once the soup begins to boil.
8. If the soup is too thick for you, please feel free to add more chicken stock or water, a little at a time while stirring, until it has reached your preferred consistency.
9. To serve, drizzle a spoon of cream and sprinkle some pumpkin/sunflower seeds or croutons on top. 

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