I love pumpkins. Love them. They are so delicious and so versatile, and whether totally real or synthetic, the flavour is one of the best compliments for just about any meal.
So of course, I am so excited that it’s beginning to feel like f-a-l-l in Berlin. Although M. is a summer lover, autumn is my favourite season, hands-down. There are many reasons, mostly having to do with the cozy feel of it, but pumpkins are of course a major part too.
I read somewhere that 90% of pumpkins in the United States are carved up for Halloween and then thrown out. I don’t know if it’s true or merely hyperbole, but it bummed me out. There is so much that can be done with them. So of course when I saw that one of the Turkish supermarkets in my Kiez had pumpkins out again (since they were super hard to acquire this sumer), as anemic as they looked, I couldn’t help but pick up the most orange of the bunch.
When I get a pumpkin I rarely know what I am going to do with it, but something always comes up. This time around, it sat in the fridge for a couple days until Wednesday. The weather was cooler and I thought pumpkin soup would be a perfect thing to make. And as fate would have it, shortly after I found a recipe for vegan coconut pumpkin soup on She Knows, M. called, letting me know he was coming home early from work, due to an upset stomach. We all know one of the best foods for cold days and sick tummies… soup.
This recipe was made almost exactly as called for, with a few modifications. First, I used powdered ginger because I was too lazy to walk the block to get fresh ginger. Second, no vegan sour cream or parsley as garnishes. Third, we added in a little extra cinnamon and some honey (since I am a honey-eating vegan, don’t judge) to round out the taste. M. thought maybe the re-do would be good with some spice, but I liked the subtle sweetness of it just perfectly. Fourth, I used real pumpkin instead of puree, because it’s not only better, but it’s nearly impossible to find canned pumpkin in Berlin, save for KaDeWe.
-Start with 1/4 of a pumpkin–either bought already cut, or cut up on your own from a whole one–and slice it into pieces for baking, then remove the seeds.
-Fill a pan or deep cooking tray with water and place the pumpkin in it. Heat at 350 F (176 C) for about an hour, give or take 15 minutes, to soften the insides.
-Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pot and add 1 diced onion. Stir until the onion is soft.
-Add 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger. Cook for a minute or two.
-Add the softened pumpkin (skin removed), 3 cups vegetable broth, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and let simmer 10 minutes.
-Shake and then pour in 1 15-ounce can of coconut milk, stirring to mix. Bring to a simmer.
-Mix in salt and black pepper. For a sweeter taste, stir in 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup.
-Puree the soup to a desired consistency, then serve, and enjoy with bread.