Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Soup


IMG_2534This recipe uses a starchy pumpkin like a kabocha or acorn squash rather than the firmer ‘crown prince’ or butternut squash, which blend down to give the most perfectly smooth texture and amazing dark golden colour.  Because of this texture, it really needs something else to provide a little interest and toasted sunflower seeds go so well with pumpkin.

The spices here give a kind of ‘thai’ effect that works really well with the sweetness of the squash. Curry spices work really well too (add ½ tsp curry powder).  Adjust the level of heat to your taste – if you add too much, you’ll lose the flavour of the coconut.  Roasting with the chilli gives a nice balance – if you want more heat, make sure you scrape all of the flakes from the roasting tray into the pan

** Alternative – replace the toasted sunflower seeds with a tin of chickpeas.  By the way, I appreciate ‘handfuls’ aren’t that precise a way to measure – for reference, I have small hands!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Kabocha Pumpkin (or similar)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 dried Chilli
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, shopped
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tin Coconut Milk
  • 750ml Boiling Water
  • Vegetable Stock Powder
  • 2 handfuls** of Sunflower Seeds
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice

Method

  • Quarter the pumpkin, deseed and put in a roasting tin
  • Sprinkle with olive oil, a little sea salt and crumble the chilli over the top, seeds and all, then roast off at 160oC fan for about 30 minutes, until soft
  • Meanwhile, sweat the onion and garlic in a little olive oil
  • When softened, add the potatoes, coconut milk, water and stock powder and bring to a gentle simmer
  • When cooked, remove the pumpkin from the oven and replace with the sunflower seeds to toast for 5-10 minutes (do not burn)
  • With a spoon scrape the pumpkin flesh away from the skin and add to the pan
  • Simmer until the potato has cooked through, then blend until smooth
  • Check the seasoning and adjust, before adding the coriander, lime juice and toasted seeds
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