Curried Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup

We’ve been out traveling around, and while we’ve been out, our little village in Germany has gone full swing into fall. The leaves are beautiful (what’s left of them) and the air is definitely crispy. We’ve got a fire going and apples simmering on the stove for yet another batch of apple sauce. Another sign of fall here is the now over abundance of pumpkins and squash. It is definitely the season, and I love it! A couple of years ago while on a trip to Latvia, I had the best pumpkin curry soup of my life – and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. I think this recipe is the closest I’ve come and I hope you enjoy it 🙂 I like it served with lingonberries, but cranberries are much more available in the US. I think it is just as good with cranberry sauce or craisins for a little more color and the lovely taste of autumn.

 

Recipes

  • Curried Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup
  • Chestnut Cream
  • Quick Cranberry Sauce

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Curried Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup – Makes 4 large servings. These pumpkins are readily available around Germany in the fall. They are delicious and about the size of an acorn squash. They may be harder to find than other pumpkins or squash, so if you can’t find one, you can switch it out with another squash. One hokkaido pumpkin yields about 3 c. of cubed pumpkin after deseeding.

  • 1 Hokkaido Pumpkin deseeded and cubed – Don’t stress about the size. It yields about 3 c. of cubed pumpkin. Hokkaido pumpkins do not need to be peeled. I peel off the really rough parts, but otherwise I just clean it well. You can substitute any pumpkin or squash, just look for about 3 c. cubed or multiply the recipe as needed.
  • 1/2 Onion diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tsp Ginger grated
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Rubbed Sage
  • 1/8 Tsp White Pepper
  • Dash each of Ground Nutmeg, Salt, Ground Cardamom, Cayenne Pepper (can be omitted)
  • 6 c. Veggie Broth divided
  • 1 Recipe Chestnut Cream (optional)
  • 1 Recipe Quick Cranberry Sauce (optional)

Chill 2 c. of veggie broth in the refrigerator. Water saute onions until they are translucent and start to brown. Add a little water as you go if all of it has steamed off and onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about minute stirring constantly. Add curry, sage, nutmeg, salt, cardamom, and peppers, and stir about 2 minutes until spices are fragrant. Add pumpkin and 2 c. of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Broth should be enough to cover pumpkins. If not, add a little more of the broth. Once water is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. Mix 2 c. cold veggie broth into soup. Add soup to a blender (may need to be done in small batches if your blender is small. Ours was fine.)  Puree until mostly smooth. Put back in pot, add remaining broth and let simmer for 10 more minutes or at least until heated. More simmer time is more flavor, but isn’t necessary. To serve, top soup with a spoonful of chestnut cream and a spoonful of cranberry sauce. If you choose not to make the cranberry sauce, mix in some craisins for some extra fall flavor if you like. Chestnut creme is a nice touch, but also not necessary if you’re in a hurry. This soup takes hardly any prep time, so while it’s simmering on the stove, you can use your time to prep the rest!

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Chestnut Cream 

  • 1 c. Chestnuts (if already roasted, just skip to the part where you peel them.)
  • 1/3 c. Non-Dairy Milk (you can use water, but milk is better)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 425°F. Take the flat side of the chestnuts and cut an X into the top. Ideally, you want to cut just enough to get through the shell, not to cut enough into the edible part. If you do, it won’t be awful, so don’t worry. Bake for about 35 minutes, and remove from the oven. Let them cool for a couple minutes and when they are cool enough to handle, peel the shell off the chestnut you should have the softer edible part left.

In a blender, place chestnuts (broken into pieces if your blender isn’t quite so powerful), vanilla, and non-dairy milk and blend until pureed. You may need to add a little more milk if it’s too thick to blend. You just need enough to keep things moving. It should be the texture of grainy applesauce and the thickness of crème fraîche.  However it turns out, as long as it’s not really runny, it will be fine.

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Quick Cranberry Sauce

  • 3/4 c. Fresh Cranberries
  • 3/4 c. Water
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar (or any kind of sugar or sweeener like date sugar, maple syrup, etc…. can also be omitted, but won’t gel quite so well)

Boil water, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add cranberries, turn heat to medium low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add a little water if necessary if it boiled off. Once cranberries start bursting , grab a potato masher (or a fork) and smash cranberries. Once you’ve reached your desired texture, let cool enough to eat. It should be a gel texture, but not solid. You can add water until you’ve reached your desired texture.

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