Friday, September 23, 2011

Pumpkin soup

Yesterday's weather was glorious. The high was somewhere in the 70s (I think). It rained a tiny bit. It was even chilly enough to warrant going home to get a jacket during my lunch break. Yesterday felt like fall. So, naturally, I needed to cook a dinner that also felt like fall. And what could be more fallish than pumpkin soup? I hadn't made pumpkin soup since a somewhat failed attempt sophomore year of college, so I glanced at a few recipes to get an idea of what flavors would go well together, then threw something together that combined elements of all of them. If I may say so myself, it was delicious--and a vast improvement on that pumpkin soup from sophomore year!

Pumpkin Soup

1 leek, white and green parts, rinsed well and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
1 smallish sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
3 cups vegetable broth
Pepper, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to taste
1/2 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk

Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add leek and cook for a couple minutes. Add garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, until leek is soft and garlic is fragrant. Add sweet potato, pumpkin, vegetable broth, and spices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until sweet potato is tender.

Puree in a blender or food processor until it reaches desired consistency (I made mine a little chunky), and return to pot. Add coconut milk and heat over medium heat until warmed through. Taste; adjust spices if desired. Serve!

I served myself 1 cup of soup, with a side of a whole wheat pita. It was filling enough that I had to eat it in batches over the courses of a movie.

Yield: Approximately 5 one-cup servings as a main dish; more servings if served as a side dish.

Verdict: Delightfully fallish! It was mostly savory, with a hint of sweet with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet potato. The coconut milk made it creamy without being too heavy. I am very happy with the outcome, and I will definitely plan to make again. The only thing I might do differently next time is use a fresh sugar pumpkin rather than canned pumpkin puree. The soup's flavor didn't suffer from being made with canned puree--it just sounds more exciting to make it with a real pumpkin!

Calories: Approximately 160 per one-cup serving.

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