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Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Ginger Soup

January 9, 2011

Every year since we moved to England (2005), we have had a garden. I know its strange to be mentioning this as it is the middle of winter and, here in Minnesota, the temperature is something like -100 f without the windchill (for those of you who may not know what windchill is, it is the way the temperature feels as you lose circulation in your face). Or maybe it just feels like this. But I bring this up for good reason. As the garden catalogs start to roll in touting new varieties of seeds and claiming that their heirloom tomatoes are the best, or how I can get super fast results from my peas, I become giddy with zeal because this is the most exciting time of the year for me.

The excitement comes from the anticipation of starting to grow. It builds for the next 5 months and then, before we know it, it has passed. I don’t say this to be a bummer, I say it because every year I try so hard to make the season memorable. How do I do this? I plant everything that I can pronounce. Sure that typically leaves me with tons of kholrabi, rows or kale, mounds of zucchini, and what seems like acres of cucumbers, but it is a joy to watch grow.

And every year, right about this time, I sit down and talk endlessly to my wife about how this year will be different; how this year we will only plant what we actually like AND can eat. Each year I truly believe that I will, in fact, follow through with my plan. And each year I somehow manage to forget I ever had this conversation and plant all that I can put my hands on. In spite of this, however, there are a few things I grow that I don’t ever seem to get enough of. One of those things is Pumpkin.

I love pumpkin and so does my family. It is one of my favorite foods. I have yet to eat it in a way that I didn’t like. Whipped, baked, steamed, or baked with butter and brown sugar, they are all to die for. They are sweet, creamy, and laden with vitamins and minerals – the kind that fight free radicals. But the best part of the pumpkin is watching the kids’ eye’s light up as they keep checking how big the pumpkins are growing. Big or small, they are wonderful and easy to grow.

Now it’s time to get back to the catalogs and dreaming.

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Ginger Soup

This recipe, as adapted from Wholefood, by Jude Blereau is just so luscious, creamy, sweet and spicy, and warm on a frost-bit Minnesota day. It has ginger, to give it spice, that mixes perfectly with the pumpkin and sweet potato. Add in some tamari and pepper and you’re set. Try adding some thick-sliced home-made bread for an added comfort.

olive oil, for frying

1 – 2 leeks, well rinsed and finely sliced

2 shallots, sliced

1 1/2 piece ginger, finely chopped

2 – 3 garlic gloves, minced

1 bunch coriander (cilantro), stems only and chopped (keep the leafs for later)

3 pound pumpkin (winter squash (jap, Kent, or butternut)), peeled and roughly chopped

1 medium sweet potato, roughly chopped

5 cups vegetable stock

tamari, to taste

finely ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in large pan (large enough for 5 cups of stock). Add leeks, shallots, ginger, garlic, and coriander stems. Saute gently over low heat for 10 minutes.

2. Add pumpkin, sweet potato, and stock. Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 30 minutes (until pumpkin and sweet potato are soft and easily pricked with a fork).

3. cook the soup slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Add coriander leafs and blend until smooth. Check for taste, adding tamari and pepper if necessary. Return to a clean pan and gently reheat the soup and serve sprinkled with coriander leaves, or drizzled with a little coconut milk.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2011 8:03 pm

    i love love love pureed soup, so good, and it lasts so long in the fridge.

    • The Therapist in the Kitchen permalink*
      January 19, 2011 9:27 pm

      I agree, especially when it’s warm, creamy soup on a cold winter day. Thanks for the comment.

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