The temperature here in Gurgaon is low enough to make me want to crawl into my oven. That’s why soups are my favourite go-to meal in a bowl this winter. Since I make a meal of it, just broth soups don’t cut it. It has to have some body and full of flavour. So far my roasted beetroot and tomato soup and carrot and lemongrass soup have been hits. This soup though was inspired from Nigella Lawson’s after I saw a picture she posted on Instagram. I absolutely loved the bright yellow colour and wanted to cook something similar.
I’ve grown up hating pumpkin. I’d find it in sambar and other curries at home. And I absolutely hated it. But thanks to people like Nigella Lawson, her TV show and the internet, I’ve learnt to let go of that hate and embrace the vegetable (technically, a fruit). The first time I tried a pumpkin soup and had my mind blown into a million pieces was at Graze, Taj Vivanta in Bangalore. It was a Zomato foodie meet up event and we were served a multiple course meal. I still remember this little cup of golden silky smooth soup with candied ginger. One first sip and I was sold. Since the chef did talk us through the dishes, I made mental notes when the pumpkin soup was talked about. I knew I had to make this at home. I did. It took me a few tries to get it to taste really good. It is a very simple recipe. Tweak it as you please – change the herbs, add spices, anything! Here’s my slow roasted pumpkin soup.
Yellow pumpkin – 1/2 kilo cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Coconut milk – 1/2 cup (or more)
Basil leaves – a few
Olive oil – to drizzle over the pumpkin
Salt and pepper – to season
Preheat your oven at 200C for 15 mins.
Place pumpkin cubes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and tear up a few basil leaves over it. I don’t put salt right now because I think it could take the moisture out of the pumpkin and I want it nice and soft with a light caramelization.
Cook in the oven at 180C for 40 mins. It seems long, but I quite like it cooked through and soft.
Let it cool before blitzing it in a blender till smooth.
Now let it simmer in a pan over medium heat. Add coconut milk and a splash of water (1/4 cup) and let it simmer some more. Add fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste.
Take the roasted pumpkin soup off the heat and serve.
I garnished one bowl with just coconut milk and the other with fried onions and toasted coconut.