I started working on the concept for an Indian-styled Roasted Pumpkin Soup a year ago. By the time, I had enough of the recipe written, Thanksgiving was over and the fresh pumpkins had disappeared from the store. I was so disappointed all last winter that I couldn’t finish the recipe but I wasn’t inclined to try using canned pumpkin. I had to put it away for nearly a year until I discovered the new crop of fresh pumpkins a few weeks ago.
This recipe uses a whole 4- to 5-pound pie or sugar pumpkin and roasts it in the oven. I simply cut it in half, oil it and cook it in the oven until it is tender. I love the pumpkin aroma that fills the house while it cooks! When it is done, it is easily pierced with a fork and some parts of the pumpkin may seem to cave in.
While it cools, I prepare the base for the soup by frying chopped shallots, garlic, ginger and green chiles then adding roasted ground cumin and roasted red chile powder in addition to other spices, the roasted pumpkin, vegetable broth and coconut milk. Roasting the spices first helps to enrich their flavors. I use an immersion blender to blend everything together so it is smooth and creamy.
The final step is to create the special seasonings that are used as a garnish. In Indian cuisine, spices are fried in hot oil and stirred into a dish just before serving it. This step is called tempering. In my Roasted Pumpkin Soup, I temper the spices along with a few curry leaves and pour them on top of the soup as a garnish.
My Roasted Pumpkin Soup is delicious for lunch or dinner as it has a rich flavor but isn’t spicy hot. It is a great recipe for vegetarian or vegan meals.