Incorporating Indian spices with roasted pumpkin soup is a perfect match. In this fall favorite recipe, I prepare a base by frying chopped shallots, garlic, ginger and green chiles then adding roasted spices. The roasted pumpkin and vegetable broth are added and then blended until smooth. Some coconut milk is added to make the soup creamy. This recipe makes 2 quarts, enough for 8 generous servings.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut the pumpkin in half then remove the seeds and fibers from the inside. Save the seeds for roasting later. Remove the stem. Place the pumpkin halves in a large baking dish. Drizzle both the outsides and insides with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Place them skin side up in the dish. Roast for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, or until the flesh can easily be pierced by a fork.
3. When the pumpkin is done, remove the dish from the oven and let the pumpkin cool until it can be handled easily. Scoop out the insides using a large spoon.
4. Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Dry roast the red chile powder and ground cumin for less than a minute, until the aroma rises. Set aside.
5. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat. When hot add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chiles; fry until translucent. Add the roasted red chile powder, roasted cumin, turmeric, salt and white pepper; stir for 1 minute.
6. Add the pumpkin to the pot. Stir to mix well. Add 2 cups of broth. Using an immersion blender, purée the pumpkin until smooth. Slowly add the remaining cup of broth and the coconut milk while the motor is running until smooth and well blended. Bring the soup to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to a large soup bowl or individual bowls for serving.
7. Prepare the Seasonings by heating the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and pan fry for a minute until the mustard seeds pop and the aroma rises. Pour the Seasonings, including the seasoned oil, over the Roasted Pumpkin Soup. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
1 (4- to 5-lb) sugar pumpkin
2 Tbs olive oil, more for drizzling
1/2-3/4 tsp red chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece piece ginger, chopped
2 green chiles, chopped
2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground white pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
2 dried red chilies, stems removed and broken into pieces
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp curry leaves