Moroccan Pumpkin Soup
The flu nailed me good this week and left me without an appetite for three whole days. Not only did I lose my appetite, but I found that I couldn’t even THINK about food without feeling nauseous. Since I normally spend most of my waking hours thinking about food, this condition left me a little dazed and confused. My normally insatiable appetite returned to me this weekend but I’m still feeling a little delicate. I’ve been living on soups since health returned and the cold weather we are having makes me crave something warming. I decided to try out a new lighter approach to pumpkin soup for Saturday lunch. The coriander and lemon lighten the pumpkin’s natural heaviness and give this soup a refreshing taste.
I toasted coriander seed and ground it immediately before adding it to the onion and garlic mixture, and it filled the kitchen with its fragrant smell. The number of ingredients are few, so this step is crucial to the flavor of the soup. If you can’t find coriander seed, you may need to add more pre-ground coriander, but increase the amounts gradually. I served this soup with a wholegrain baguette, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Za’taar and sea salt and toasted.
Moroccan Pumpkin Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced (about 1.5 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz fresh or canned pureed pumpkin
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/4 ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp salt
A few grinds of white pepper
1. Toast 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds over medium heat in a dry skillet with a heavy bottom. Shake skillet occasionally as the seeds toast to distribute heat. Remove as you smell the coriander and they appear lightly toasted. Pour seeds onto a plate to cool for about 5 minutes. Grind to a fine texture in a spice grinder.
2.Heat a 6 quart soup pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander and saute for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the broth and pumpkin and stir to distribute. Bring to a simmer and lightly simmer for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and warm through (but do not bring to a simmer). Turn off heat and cool to warm.
4. In batches, puree soup in a blender or food processor. Return to clean soup pot and add lemon juice and zest and salt. Adjust salt to taste.