There is nothing more warming than soup with a hint of spice. Perfect for the cooler days that are ahead. This is a great soup to make in the weekend and to store in portions in the fridge for a quick lunch to take to work, or to have at the end of a busy day. You can even freeze portions to use when time is short.
Thai Pumpkin Soup
What you will need (serves 3-4)
Slog of olive oil
1 x onion
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp chili powder
1x butternut pumpkin
2x carrots (optional – can also add other vegetables as desired such as potato, kumara, parsnip)
1x can coconut milk/cream
2 x Tbsp crunchy peanut butter
Salt and pepper to taste
What you need to do
Prepare pumpkin. I tend to cut the pumpkin into quarters and microwave for 6-8 minutes in 2 minute intervals until soft enough to easily remove the skin. Once done, cut into cubes – the smaller they are the quicker they will soften. Fry off the onion and garlic with the olive oil in a large pot with the spices until fragrant. Add pumpkin and other vegetables if using. Add boiling water until just covering the vegetables and simmer until vegetables are at desired consistency to blend, about 20 minutes. Use a stick blender or food processor to blend until smooth. Add coconut cream/milk and peanut butter and blend until incorporated. Add extra seasoning as desired.
Serve immediately or let cool to portion off for later.
One of my most favourite winter puddings is definitely apple crumble. This is my take on a slightly healthier deconstructed version
Apple and Blueberry Crumble
1/2 cup wholegrain oats
1/4 cup wholegrain flour
1/4 cup coconut thread
1/8 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Peel, core and cube apples. Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and microwave for 4-5 minutes to soften. Add blueberries as desired. In a separate bowl add all other dry ingredients together including another 1/2 tsp measure of cinnamon and cardamom and mix thoroughly. Mix in ~2 Tbsp coconut oil to bring the dry mixture together and spoon over apple and blueberry mixture. Cook in oven for ~20 minutes or until crumble top is golden brown. Serve with some delicious Greek yoghurt for a nutritious accompaniment.
The use of wholegrain oats and wholegrain flour with a small amount of brown sugar makes a healthier alternative to the traditional and well loved pudding that can have a lot of overly processed flour and sugar in it. Serving it with Greek yoghurt instead of ice cream, cream or custard also cuts the sugar content.
I don’t normally use or promote coconut oil, as I am not sure that there is enough evidence in the long term to suggest that using it as your standard oil in every day cooking is beneficial to health. However, I think using it occasionally to add extra flavour to your cooking is quite acceptable. Don’t be misled into thinking that coconut oil is a ‘traditional’ oil used for thousands of years by our ancestors, it is actually a relatively new oil and wasn’t used in our Pacific nations as much you may have thought.
The addition of some almond slivers to the topping would also be delicious!
Enjoy this dessert as an occasional treat on a cold winter evening.