Homemade Pumpkin Ginger Soup
There are many pumpkin recipes around, especially since the autumn/fall season is the time when pumpkins are harvested. I have tried quite a few of them because pumpkin is one of my all time favorites. Be it mashed and served as a vegetable dish, baked in a pie, or used in any other type of recipe, as long as it is real pumpkin, not that canned stuff, I will eat it. But since the autumn season brings cold weather, there is nothing like a good, hearty, pumpkin soup, to help keep you warm. There are different variations of the pumpkin soup recipe but this one is my own. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. To make this soup, you will need the following:
One small cooking pumpkin, cannot weigh more than 4 pounds
¼ cup unsalted cashews
One tablespoon grated fresh ginger; can use ground ginger if fresh is not available
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of cloves
A pinch of salt, optional (sea salt works best)
A dash of pepper, optional
One to two cups of water, only if needed
Prepare the pumpkin for cooking. To do that, wash the outside of the pumpkin thoroughly to remove any dirt from the outer surface. Next, remove the stem and cutting lengthwise, proceed to cut the pumpkin in half. Using a spoon, metal preferably, scrape out the pumpkin seeds and the stringy bits. Discard the stringy bits and seeds. Second step is to make the pumpkin puree needed for the soup. You can also use this step for making pumpkin pie as well.
Put the oven on at 350F to preheat it and brush some vegetable oil onto the cut side of each pumpkin half to coat it. Place each pumpkin half, cut side down, in a roasting pan and add a cup of water to the pan. Put the roasting pan into the oven and bake for about 90 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is extremely tender. Use a fork to prick each half to check if it is done.
Once the pumpkin has reached desired tenderness, take it out of the oven, turning the oven off. Put the pumpkin halves either on a cooling rack or cutting board and let them cool for a couple of hours.
Using a metal spoon, scrape out the pumpkin flesh out of each half and place into a bowl. Toss away the skins. Mash the pumpkin flesh either by hand using a potato masher until it has a smooth consistency or put the pumpkin flesh in a blender and mix it that way. Any moisture from the pumpkin flesh should be drained by placing pumpkin flesh in a sieve or colander lined with either paper towels or coffee filters. Place a bowl under the sieve/colander to catch any and all liquid coming from the pumpkin puree. Cover the pumpkin puree with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge, allowing it to drain for a minimum of two hours to overnight. Once drained, the pureed pumpkin should resemble the same consistency of canned pumpkin.
Once you have made the pumpkin puree, it is time to start on the soup. To do that, start by placing the cashews in water, covering them, and let them soak for a few hours. Soaking the cashews helps them to mix better when you go to put them in a blender.
Take the pureed pumpkin out of the fridge and put it in a medium sized soup pot. Dump the soaked cashews into a blender and mix them for a few minutes, then add them to the puree. On medium-low heat, stir the pumpkin and cashews together, mixing them thoroughly. Add water slowly if it appears to be to be too thick, then slowly add the ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper, stirring after each item is added. Heat the soup gently, without scorching or burning it, on low heat for about ten to twelve minutes, or until everything had blended together nicely, stirring every couple of minutes.
This recipe can serve up to eight people and can be served as an appetizer for a Halloween dinner and for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners too.