Red Kobucha Pumpkin Soup

If you’re a compulsive pumpkin carver, you’re probably left with a familiar issue, namely what to do with all that pumpkin flesh! In years past, I’ve thought that I would use the lot to make delicious pies, curries and soups.

Well, I was swiftly disabused of those notions. For it seems that while those giant sphere-like pumpkins look pretty cool when carved and lit up, the flesh cooks down into something a bit watery and insipid. All is not lost, and you can certainly cook up something if you add lots of spice and a decent amount of cream. However if what you want is something brilliantly orange in its autumnal splendour, you’ve got to look a bit further afield. If this is what you want, then red kabocha pumpkin is a good choice.

Now, it’s fair to say that kabocha pumpkin isn’t exactly what you would call a bit of a looker. It’s a deep reddish-orange, but the skin is rough and irregular. Not great for lantern carving, but excellent for cooking.

Kabocha is perfect for making soup. You’ve got the colour, but helpfully you don’t need to mess about with peeling it. Just cut off any odd-looking bits, remove the seeds, but otherwise you can leave on the skin to boost the colour of the final dish. Something like this.

pumpkin_cubes

I’ve kept the ingredients in the soup recipe fairly simple – it’s similar to a recipe I posted a couple of years ago, with not much more than pumpkin, a little potato, onions and stock. However, I did want to be a little creative, so I added a dash of curry powder, some cumin and a good old dose of…allspice! Yes, a rather strange choice for a soup, but it was a bit of a nod to pumpkin pie spices. It’s a matter of taste, but you want to add enough to add some rich spiced flavour, but not so much as to overpower everything else in the soup.

The soup is topped off with some pumpkin seeds , toasted in the oven and finished with a little more allspice. All in all, a bright orange antidote to all that candy that will doubtless be consumed in the next couple of days.

kombuchapumpkinsoup1

kombuchapumpkinsoup2

So with that, I’ll leave you with a picture of one of my pumpkin lanterns from previous years….Happy Halloween!

To make red kaboucha soup (serves 4):

For the soup:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 onions, peeled and chopped
• 1 small potato
• 500g red kaboucha squash, skin on

• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1 teaspoon ground allspice
• 750ml vegetable stock

For the pumpkin seeds:

• 2 large handfuls pumpkin seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

• 1 teaspoon olive oil

1. Put the olive oil and chopped onions in a large pan. Cook over a gentle heat until the onions are caramelised and lightly browned but not burned (around 5 minutes).

2. Add the spices and cook for around 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin flesh and cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.

3. Add the vegetable stock , bring to the boil, and simmer for around 30 minutes until the pumpkin flesh and the potato are very soft. Add any water (if needed) and add salt and pepper to taste.

4. In the meantime, make the toasted pumpkin seeds: put everything into a bowl, stir well, then transfer to a baking tray and bake in the oven at 150°C (300°F) until toasted (watch them – the go from golden to burned faster than a witch on a broomstick!).

5. Once the soup is ready, put into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass through a sieve, then reheat briefly before serving. Finish each bowl of soup with a sprinkling of the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Worth making? It is indeed! This is really easy to make, vegan, looks great and the allspice adds an unexpected little extra something.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Red Kobucha Pumpkin Soup

  1. If you like pumpkin, I know a great recipe. All you have to do is cook up some ground beef w/ onions and spices, empty out a small pumpkin and put the meat in, then bake it! Definitely a simple, hearty meal that goes perfectly with a creamy sweet potato bisque or simple brown rice.

  2. I love pumpkin soup and your variation with the spices calls to the Indian in me. Will try this soon.

  3. Susan

    That sounds great! I cooked up a kabocha last night, just to have with mushrooms and puy lentils, but soup also sounds good. I’m into soups at the moment, so will buy another kabocha.

  4. Hi Russell

    I am nominating your blog for the Sunshine Award. You have a gorgeous blog despite working full time which gives me hope and makes me smile! Acceptance is optional. A link to your blog and the rules for this award can be found on my post here – http://selmastable.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/awards-and-accolades-2013/. Looking forward to reading your posts in 2014! x

    • Hi Selma – thank you so much for thinking about me! This is “only” a little hobby of mine (even if it sometimes leads me to spend hours at a time trying to get hold of the most unusual of ingredients or strange kitchen contraptions), so it’s always great when someone appreciates my site. It’s a little hard when you’re working, and have something planned, but need to make sure you hit that (work) deadline before you can even think of getting home and going crazy in the kitchen, but keep doing it and take it in your stride. I’ve gone a few weeks where it’s all quiet, then done three posts in a week.

      • My pleasure! That is what hobbies are all about – indulgence of a little obsessive compulsive! And you done good!! I am just finding it hard to photograph as it has been so gray and rainy…

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