This could be the last of the Winter cold snaps in the Queensland subtropics, and so the days where I enjoy cooking soups are coming to a close. The weather has been absolutely magical here so whilst there is always a lot to be done inside the house, I have been enjoying venturing out into the sunshine during the day to spend time in our garden. Nevertheless, it has been a busy week in my kitchen, where I have been working on using up our surplus of vegetables, rather than waste them. I have made a double quantity of pumpkin and coconut soup, most of which is now in the freezer for later. This is a delicious recipe, very fast to make and is a family favourite.
Some of the soup will travel to Cairns when we drive up there next to visit our daughter, the rest will be reheated at home and will be a very welcome and simple Sunday night fare when I decide to have a night off from cooking. We all need to do that sometimes, don't you agree? Pumpkin soup is always a winner, and this quick and easy recipe with the subtle flavours of curry powder and turmeric, is a perennial favourite in our house. Pumpkins are cheap right now and using them in soups can help to stretch the budget and provide a delicious and nutritious meal for little cost. Using the simplest ingredients, and cooked in the microwave oven, my pumpkin soup recipe can be prepared and ready to eat in under an hour. The most difficult and time consuming part is chopping and peeling the pumpkin.
Here is my Pumpkin and Coconut Soup recipe for my friends who are still enjoying cold weather.
1 kg Kent or Jap pumpkin (peeled and chopped into 3 cm pieces)
3/4 cup water and 1 chicken stock cube or 1 teaspoon of chicken stock powder
(The water and stock cube can be substituted with homemade chicken stock)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
Salt & pepper to taste
2/3 cup organic coconut milk or organic coconut cream (Extra for thinning out your soup if necessary)
Place the first six ingredients into a 2 litre casserole dish. Cook on High for 12-15 minutes in the microwave oven with the lid on. Allow to cool slightly.
Carefully puree the cooked pumpkin with a stick blender. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and add the coconut milk. I also used a hand whisk at this stage to really fold in the milk well, as depending on the pumpkin and the coconut cream or milk the consistency of the soup can still be quite thick. If it is too thick for your taste, keep adding more coconut milk and warm boiled water, and whisk it lightly until you achieve the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Cook on high in the casserole dish with lid on for another 4 minutes in the microwave.
Garnish with fresh garlic chives, finely chopped, and a flourish of some more coconut milk.
This soup also freezes beautifully.
I bought some zucchinis for only $2.00 a kilo last week, as they are obviously in season, and I used some of those to make zucchini pickles (recipe here), and at the same time our home grown zucchini plants decided to have a growth spurt so I have also been using those up. I needed to make a quick and easy lunch dish today, so I revisited an old zucchini slice recipe which is always delicious, added a couple of extra ingredients and used up some more of our zucchinis. I hope you enjoy it as well if you decide to cook it for your family. However, it is probably a good idea to leave out the chillies if children will be eating it.
Recipe for Zucchini and Bacon SliceIngredients:
375 grams zucchini (approx. 2 large or 4 small)
1 large very fresh onion, finely chopped
3 rashers bacon, finely chopped, fat removed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 chopped large red chillies
1 cup very tasty grated cheese
1 cup SR flour
1/2 cup oil
Grate zucchini in a food processor and finely chop onion and bacon. Combine zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese, turmeric and sifted flour, chillies, oil and lightly beaten eggs.
Season to your taste with ground black pepper and a pinch of salt
Pour into a greased baking tray or a large pie dish or a quiche dish. Top with sliced tomatoes or sliced zucchinis and a pinch of paprika if you wish.
Bake in a moderate oven for 30 to 40 minutes until it has risen and looks golden on top.
Thanks for dropping by,