Wednesday, November 08, 2006

'Powerhouse' Soup

Okay, I know it has already been almost a fortnight after Halloween, but I still could not resist buying a pumpkin when I was doing my grocery shopping.

The pumpkins in the supermarket are of the local variety, which has green skin with white strips/patches, a far cry from the orange versions used for carving Jack O’Lanterns. The orange flesh is also of a lighter hue, just like this:

Pumpkins are beta-carotene ‘powerhouses’, as evident from the color (think carrots and papayas as well). Beta-carotene is an important anti-oxidant, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Other than beta-carotene, pumpkin is loaded with other vitamins like Vitamin C and K, in addition to minerals like potassium, and depending on what is added to prepare it, pumpkins can be a low calories ‘diet’ food too.

So what did I do with the pumpkin I bought home? Well I made a Roasted Pumpkin soup. In addition, I would like to dedicate this as my first post to Weekend Herb Blogging, an event founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, whereby bloggers are invited to write about plants, herbs, fruits or vegetables. For this week, WHB is hosted by Meeta, of What's for Lunch, Honey? Do hop over to Meeta's blog for a a re-cap of this week's entries which will be up next Monday and of course, check out Kalyn’s Kitchen if you are interested in joining too!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup (serves 3-4 persons as a starter)

You need:
Half a medium pumpkin, de-seeded, cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled, cut into small chunks
1 potato(I used Yukon Gold), peeled, cut into small cubes
Half a yellow onion, diced
400 to 500 ml chicken stock, plus more if required
Olive oil

How to:
1) Place carrot and pumpkin chunks(skin side up) on a roasting tray. Drizzle about 1 tbsp olive oil over. Roast in a preheated 180C oven for about 40 mins, until both vegetables are soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scrape flesh from pumpkins.
2) In the meantime, sauté onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until fragrant. Add potato cubes and fry for about 2 mins. Add in 400ml chicken stock, pumpkin flesh and carrots.
3) Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until potatoes are soft.
4) Puree the vegetable soup in a blender (in batches if necessary) until smooth. Adjust consistency to your liking by adding more chicken stock. Pour back into the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5) Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

There is no cream used in preparing in this soup. I used potato to act as a thickening agent. The result: a smooth, thick, sweet soup chockful of veggy goodness.


Precious Moments said...

This sounds really yummy.

Meeta said...

Sounds really good and soothing. Thanks for entering WHB!

gattina said...

Bravo!!! What a beautiful soup (and photos) you made!
Thanks for explaining the variety of pumpkins... I feel helpless then give up trying if I don't know what the ingredients are... I do see this type in Asian supermarket here, now you give me confidence to try :D
BTW, agree with you, potato is one of the best thickening agents, my favorite too!

Anonymous said...

Angie, roasted pumpkin soup is my favourite!!! I like the fact that your soup does not contain cream -- healthier , right? :)

Angie said...

Edith, yeah, this soup is good for the cold days we're having these days.

Meeta, the pleassure is all mmine :)

Gattina,a big thanks for your kind words :-). This kind of pumpkin is very common in the markets/
supermarkets here, the orange type is the 'rare' kind - the other way round.

White_poplar, yup, I like the goodness of this soup without the cream :p

Anonymous said...

Angie, cold days in Singapore? How cold can it gets I wonder? :) Last time I was there in November, it was so hot!

Angie said...

Haha, white_poplar, it won't be considered cold compared to Melbourne. Just that the temperature is lower than 30C at night, and much more rain nowadays.

sher said...

Beautiful picture! The color of the soup is amazing!

Angie said...

Sher, thank you!

Kalyn said...

Very lovely photo of the soup, which sounds delicious. Welcome to WHB!

Angie said...

Kalyn, thanks! It's my pleasure to be able to participate in WHB :)

Ruth said...

Lovely to look at and I'm certain fabulous to eat. I'll be trying it out later this week.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

The photos are delightful! That soup definitely looks appetizing.

My house has a pumpkin tree and we would make pumpkin cakes - a bit like the yam cake chinese style ones. After steaming, we cut into slices and then pan dry them. Yum.

Angie said...

Ruth, let me know how it turns out :)

Thanis, thanks for your compliments. Oh yes, we have the same version of pumpkin 'cakes', we call it pumpkin 'kueh'.