Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pumpkin and Kumera (sweet potato) soup

Pumpkin and Kumera (Sweet Potato) Soup

It's soup night here in the Wilkins' house! I know it's the middle of Summer, but we had a slight turn in the weather with quite an extroardinary amount of rain.  This brought out the hibernation gene. Which in turn made us all crave some warming comforting soup! At the very least it will get you prepared for the autumn. This one has a little ginger and warming spices, and again, super easy to make. Serve with some toasty hot bread when it's cold and wet outside.

Here are some things you should probably have around to start. Pumpkin and kumera being the main ingredients of pumpkin and kumera soup of course.
First step- how to dice your onion up. Find your two red onions, and slice the ends off them.
Then slice them in half
Peel away the skin
Slice them longways 
 Then holding it together, cut them across the other way
And you end up with some beautifully diced onion! 
 Like I said.
 Then find a nice big heavy pot. Throw in a glug of olive oil (1 tablespoon) and a little piece of butter. The butter brings out the flavour of the spices.
Throw your onion in and stir it around. Low heat will do, just to let them sweat. 

Now for your garlic. Take 3 cloves, slice the hard end off and peel away the skin. 

Take your big knife, place it on the side, and crush the garlic clove with the side of the knife. Once it's crushed, you can use the sharp edge once again to dice it up. 

This helps to release the flavour all the more.

Now your garlic is chopped like a pro, throw it in with your onion and stir it around.
Now find a piece of ginger. I keep this in the freezer and grate a piece off when I need it. Grate a centimetre or so, enough to fill about 2 teaspoons. 
Now for some spices. 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander. Stir them around, and let it cook away with the onions for a minute or two.
 Now, if you haven't already got your pumpkin chopped up, you might want to turn the heat off in the saucepan, otherwise your onion will burn while you're chopping up the veges!
For your pumpkin- we have a quarter of a kent pumpkin, which weighs about a kilo. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.
Then slice it into wedges with a big sharp knife.
When they're in wedges it's much easier to lie them on their side to slice the skin off. 
Then when you have your skinless wedges, you can start to dice them up.
 Until you have a forest of nicely chopped pumpkin.
 Throw it in with your spicy onion (make sure the heat is back on!) 
Now time to skin the kumera. I have just one large sweet potato. And thankfully the skin is soft enough to just use a vegetable peeler on, unlike the pumpkin. 
 Once the skin is off, slice up the middle to make long sticks. 
Then cut those sticks up until you have small pieces. 
 These can be thrown right in with the pumpkin. 
Give it a good stir around. You've almost done all the hard work!
 Just make some stock up to just cover the veges. About 700mls worked for me. I used 2 teaspoons of powdered stock and boiling water.
Pour the stock right over the veges until they are just covered. 
Add some salt and pepper. 
Then turn the heat right down, cover it up, and let it cook away until the vegetables are soft. You could blend it up after half an hour, but if you give it a good hour the vegetables are extra soft, and spicy flavours fully developed.
Here we are after one hour. It looks a little brown and unappetising, but once you blend it up, the orange will return. 
Cosy warm soup mmm.
 Serve with a dollup of sour cream and some crusty bread.

Pumpkin and Kumera (sweet potato) Soup

2 red onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
20g butter
1cm piece fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1kg kent pumpkin, skin removed and diced into 2cm chunks
700g kumera (sweet potato), skin removed and diced into 2cm chunks
700ml (or more) vegetable stock

1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy pot. Gently fry onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
2. Add grated ginger, cumin and coriander to onion mixture, and saute for a further 2 minutes until fragrant.
3. Stir in diced pumpkin and sweet potato. Add salt and pepper
4. Pour in enough stock to ensure the vegetables are just covered. Cover and let it simmer away for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much time you have.
5. When the vegetables are soft, remove from heat and blend with a stick blender.
6. Serve with a dollup of sour cream, more salt/pepper as desired, and some crusty bread.

Winter warmers... in Summer.

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