During the dark, cold days of winter life can become a little bit dull. The bright greens of summer salads are a distant memory and cucumbers are selling for $5 each in the supermarket. And if there is a newborn in your home it can be even harder to make nutritious family meals when most of your time is spent nurturing your littlest addition. However, if you have a hoard of pumpkins (or can find a cheap one at the grocer) then you are in luck! I stumbled upon this delicious soup from the New Zealand Gardener Garden Diary 2018 magazine this week. As I had the amazing Amy from Newly Born popping by for lunch, I flagged the great looking chickpea croutons and detailed cooking instructions, and just threw the whole lot in the slow cooker (except the coconut cream which I placed it in a jug on the table so people could drizzle their soup for a little piece of decadence!). It turned out to be a total winner, and was so quick to make. 4 hours on high, a quick puree at the end with the stick blender and presto -Lunch was served.
Pumpkin, Coconut & Lime Soup
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 stalks lemongrass chopped (or 6 lemon tree leaves)
Thumb size piece of ginger chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
Zest of 2 limes
1 cup coriander, plus extra for serving
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 x 400ml tin coconut cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5kg pumpkin, peeled, cut into 3cm cubes
350kg kumara, peeled, cut into 3cm cubes
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
Put chilli, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, lime zest, coriander, turmeric and salt into a jug, add a few tablespoons of the coconut cream and, using a stick blender, process until a paste is formed.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the paste for 5min over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin, kumara, remaining coconut cream and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30mins or until the vegetables are soft. Puree using a stick blender, then serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, coriander, and chickpea croutons.
Ingredients chickpea croutons
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 2 limes
1 red chilli, deseeded, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Dry chickpeas in a clean tea towel, or put them in the oven for a few mins. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lime zest, chilli and salt and pour over chickpeas, mixing well to coat each one. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for an hour or until crunchy. Give them a good shake/stir from time to time to make sure they cook evenly. This makes more than you will need to garnish the soup so store what is left in an airtight jar.
Recipe from New Zealand Gardener Garden Diary 2018, June.