‘Sunshine’ Soup

I call this the ‘sunshine’ soup very obviously because of the colour. Besides that, the soup is such a mood elevator on really dull days. It is that perfect comfort food to perk me up.

This preparation is my version of the Thai style butternut squash soup. It is a velvety smooth soup with the sweetness of the squash and coconut milk contrasted by the heat from curry powder and other spices. To give it some nuttiness, the soup is sprinkled with some toasted pumpkin seeds. Here’s to a little bit of sunshine in your meals.

Note: If you can’t get butternut squash, use yellow pumpkin instead.

Ingredients

  • Butternut squash – ¼ kg, peeled and cubed
  • Onion -1, roughly chopped
  • Garlic -2 cloves
  • Ginger -1/2 inch piece, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Cumin powder – ¼ tspn
  • Coriander powder – ½ tspn
  • Chilli powder – ½ tspn
  • Curry powder (hot) – ½ tspn
  • Butter – 1 tblspn
  • Light coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper – to season
  • Vegetable stock or water – 3 cups
  • To toast pumpkin seeds:
    Pumpkin seeds – 1 tblspn.
    Oil – 1 tspn.

Directions

Toasting the pumpkin seeds:

  • Heat oil in a pan and toast the pumpkin seeds till it turns a slight brown.
  • Turn off the stove and sprinkle some chilli powder if you like. Keep it aside.

For the soup:

  1. Heat butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook till the raw smell leaves. Toss in chopped onion let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin cubes and stir well.
  4. Toss in the dry spices and coat the vegetables well.
  5. Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour the stock/water in the saucepan and cook in high flame till the soup mixture simmers.
  7. Turn the flame to medium-low, cover the pan and cook till the pumpkin is soft. To check, run a fork or knife through a pumpkin chunk.
  8. Once it softens, add ¾ of a cup of light coconut milk.
  9. Stir and cook for 2 -4 minutes till the flavour of coconut milk is blended with the soup mixture.
  10. Turn the stove off.
  11. Now, use a stick blender or blender to blend the soup until smooth.
  12. Add the remaining coconut milk and blend once again.
  13. Transfer to serving bowls.
    Sprinkle a few toasted pumpkin seeds, season with salt & pepper and serve hot.

Tips:

  1. Use thick coconut milk instead of the light one if you like your soup thick.
  2. Adjust the quantity of the spices to suit your taste.
  3. Use oil instead of butter, if you like.
  4. To further thicken the soup, you could add a carrot or potato.

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