Would you like a bowl of coffee and curry pumpkin soup to warm up the cold and dark Autumn night?
Pumpkin season is ON and the stores are full of different shapes, sizes and colours of yummy pumpkin and squash goodness. And I’m loving it!
My recipe today is a bit on the experimental side, though in essence it’s just a pumpkin soup with a twist. Maybe I’m just in constant need of a caffeine fix, but I thought it might be a good addition to the soup! And who doesn’t like warm aromatic spices in Autumn? I haven’t used pumpkin spice BUT I’d like to think my creation is a kind of pumpkin + spice + latte – soup. Perfect for a chilly and dark Autumn day!
Pumpkins, pumpkins, more and more pumpkins!
My most used pumpkin (or well, squash) is Butternut, because it’s available year around here in Finland. During Autumn however, I tend to carry the more rare varieties home. I really love the striped Carnival/Festival squashes, and Hokkaido, because they’re delicious but also small in size AND you can cook them without peeling them. In comparison, the huge orange Halloween pumpkins I leave for others, because I go grocery shopping on foot and am never tempted to turn the walk back home to a gym session…
Typically I like to roast the pumpkin/squash, either alone or mixed in with other veggies. Sweet roasted pumpkin with charred edges… Yum! But I also love pumpkin soup. Since right now there’s no shortage of raw material, I love to create some more experimental pumpkin recipes! Today’s soup has had coffee, Japanese curry powder, ginger and even chocolate in it! (More on that at the end of the blog post) The curry powder I’ve used is Japanese S+B “spicy” curry powder, which despite the name is on the milder side (read more on Just One Cookbook).
Coffee & curry pumpkin soup
This coffee and curry seasoned pumpkin soup is lovely served with a dollop of creme fraîche, but since I’m on this adventurous path, I seasoned mine with generous dashes of Angostura bitters. It adds an aromatic note to the creme fraîche which I really enjoy! (Or… is it just that I am pleased to be using up that bottle in more than cocktail related ways?)
I also love to top the soup off with something savory and crispy: golden pan fried halloumi crumbs! Ever since I came up with this method of using halloumi I’ve been really adding it everywhere… It’s a bit of effort to make, but lasts very well in the fridge. Highly recommended! If you don’t want to go that extra mile, toasted pumpkin seeds, nuts, coconut or even croutons work well. Hope you’ll enjoy this my pumpkin + spice + latte – soup as much as I do!
Pumpkin soup with curry & coffee
- Immersion blender
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 tbsp neutral tasting oil
- 6-8 cloves garlic (or 2 single clove garlics)
- 1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or about ½ tsp dry ginger powder)
- 1-2 tbsp mild curry powder (I like to use japanese S+B curry powder)
- ½-¾ tsp dry thyme
- 1 small winter pumpkin (c. 500-600g), seed removed (Hokkaido, Festival/Carvinal and butternut are all lovely and you can use them without peeling!)
- 1 medium sized carrot
- 2 starchy potatoes (c. 200g)
- 2-3 dl filtered coffee
- 4-5 dl vegetarian broth
- 2 dl (plantbased) cooking cream
- salt + white pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 tbsp mushroom powder
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or a few pieces of dark chocolate
- 1 tsp ancho or chipotle chili / smoked paprika
- 200 g (plantbased) creme fraiche
- 10-25 dashes of Angostura (or 1 cl whiskey)
- 1-1½ dl something crunchy and salty: fried halloumi crumbs, toasted salted pumpkin seeds or nuts, toasted coconut, crutons...
- fresh herbs: thyme, sage, chives, curry herb...
- The amount of curry powder to use varies with the kind of curry you use. I use japanese S+B "spicy" curry powder, which is however super mild. I add it about 2 tbsp to this soup. If you're using a more spicy curry, add just a little at first and see how much is good for your taste! Note: the taste does intensify if you store the soup in the fridge and re-heat it!
- The color of the soup varies depending on the pumpkin and curry you use, and the amount of coffee you add.
- This soup is easy to make vegan, by using plant based cooking cream and creme fraiche.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Peel it (if it needs to be peeled) and chop in to chunks of a few centimeter.
- Wash and peel the potatoes and carrots, chop them up to similar pieces as the pumpkin. Peel and mince the onion and garlic, grate the fresh ginger if using. And lastly: make a pot of coffee!
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Sautee the onion until translucent. Add in the garlic and fresh ginger (if using), and keep sauteeing for a few minutes more. Add in the curry powder, thyme and dry ginger (if using), plus the pumpkin, potatoes and carrots. Fry veggies for a few minutes, coating them all up in the seasoned oil. Add in the broth and coffee. The liquid should come up to the level of the veggies. Add a little water if necessary.
- Bring to a boil and lower the temperature to a gentle simmer. Cook under a lid until veggies are fully cooked, stirring a few times to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Add in the cooking cream and puree the soup.
- Check the seasoning and add some salt, white pepper, curry, ginger ... to adjust the taste. Keep the soup wam until serving. I like to serve the soup with crispy golden pan fried crumbled halloumi, which I make while the soup is cooking. Recipe below!
- Serve the soup with a dollop of (plantbased) creme fraiche! I like to season it with Angostura, or a little whiskey.
- Divide the soup into bowls and spoon the creme fraiche on top. You can make cute swirls on the surface with a tooth pick! Add in the toppings of your choice and some fresh herbs. My favorite is lemon thyme or curry herb.
Crispy halloumi crumbs:
- To make crispy caramelized halloumi crumbs, heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan. Grate a block of halloumi to the pan, using the large holes of a box grater. Fry on medium heat until 75-85% of the crumbs get golden, crispy and toasty, and the mixture has a scent of salted caramel.
- In the beginning the halloumi will leek out a lot of liquid, but it will dry up and start to get golden when you just keep going. If there's any left over halloumi crumbs, store them in the fridge. I love to add them to salads, hummus bowls, soups... they're addictive!
experimental cooking fail
In my most extra version of this soup there was half coffee half veggie broth. I also got inspired to throw in some dark chocolate, and mushroom powder, and a dry Ancho chili.
Too many ideas at the same time, it turns out. The chocolate made the soup brown and too sweet without actually tasting of cocoa that much. The ancho didn’t really taste at all – I should have used more or it drowned in all the other things going on. What’s for sure is that there was very little trace of pumpkin left at that point! It also turns out that whilst making the soup, I added a lot of things so I could taste them. But after a day in the fridge and getting re-heated, all the flavors were enhanced to TOO MUCH. Of course this happened with a double batch I made for my mom’s birthday dinner… Whoops. ⚆ _ ⚆
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