Thursday, October 18, 2012

Indian Curry Pumpkin Soup

I have a hard time deciding on a favorite season. The freshness of spring, the bright green grass, the tender spring peas, the flowers, I just adore them. I am so excited for the first asparagus to arrive, the strawberries and peas. And then summer, with its lazy days and long vacations, tomatoes with olive oil and sea salt, skirts and sandals, baths and outdoor activities. And I can even find something lovely in the cold Swiss winters. I love the first snow of the season, walking on snow, a cold fogless day in the mountains, wearing scarves.
But every year, I seem to say, mid October, that Fall has to be my favorite season. My heart makes a little happy dance when I see the first pumpkins and squashes. I can start to drink tea again, wrap myself in a scarf or blanket, light candles, and get back into cooking. For while I love tomatoes with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil and a few slices of mozzarella di buffala, they inspire little cooking.
So at the beginning of Fall, I carry home as much butternut squash and pumpkin as I can carry. 
When I started out making this soup, I actually planned on making a pumpkin curry with big chunks of pumpkin. What I did not account for was the pumpkin becoming all stringy in the process of cooking, so I decided to add a little broth and puree it.
The resulting soup is different enough from the pumpkin soup I normally make, the curry makes it somewhat spicy, which makes for a really warming soup. 

With fall comes the fact that it gets dark way too quickly to take shots of food in natural light. I think I need to go back to Debs answers on how she takes pictures of her food without natural light. How do you deal? Just cook earlier in the day?

Indian Curry Pumpkin Soup
Note:  If you do like the idea of a pumpkin curry, I'd use a butternut squash the next time. It keeps its form nicely and will result in a much better looking curry.

2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2-3 tbsp Indian curry paste (mine was a paste called Mild Curry, but sometimes I have a vindaloo paste on hand, that would work well, too. Id like to give these homemade curry pastes from Jamie Oliver a try sometime)
about 1kg of pumpkin, seeds and skin removed, cut into cubes
vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat a little oil on medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, then add the garlic and the curry paste. Sauté for a minute or so until fragrant, then add the pumpkin cubes. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the pumpkin, bring to a boil and let it simmer until the pumpkin is soft. Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender, or transfer it to a food processor and puree it in batches. Put back on the heat, let come back to a boil and simmer for another minute or two. Check if you need to add more liquid, or thicken with a tsp cornstarch diluted with cold water if necessary. In both cases, stir well and let come back to a simmer.

A little plain yoghurt stirred in would probably be nice, too.

Serves 4.


  1. Like you I always think every season is my favorite when I'm in it. I do really, really love fall. But I think I feel happiest in summer-- even with the downside that there's not much incentive to cook (and especially bake). But here's to a season with scarves and soup and muffins!

    I have leftover pumpkin in the fridge from baking pumpkin whoopie pies earlier this week, and I think I might use it for this. I love curry flavors with squash, and I might as well make it into a soup. Do you ever bake sweet things with pumpkin, or is that just an American thing?

    And yeah, photography during shorter hours is tricky. I think Deb invested in some pretty pricey camera things to be able to photograph at night successfully. I think most the time I just end up photographing leftovers the following mid-day. :P

    1. If you do make this soup, please report back and tell me how you liked it.
      I think baking sweet things with pumpkin might be an American thing. I have done it before, but not with a European recipe. We should totally do it more often, though. How did your whoopie pies turn out? Are you going to post them on your blog?
      I think I have to plan better and just photograph with daylight. Investing in equipment just isnt really an option right now.

    2. And I just realized that you already posted the pumpkin whoopie pies. They look really good.

  2. hi Lena :)
    when I make pumpkin soup, I always add quite a bit of freshly ground ginger besides the curry and (instead of creme fraiche, like most people do) mix in some coconut milk after pureeing it. really tasty!!

    1. Hi Nora
      I like to add ginger, too, but have never tried it with coconut milk. Sounds really good.