We have really been getting some cold weather lately here in Sydney (obviously not as cold as many other parts of the world!), but cold enough to make me crave warm and hearty meals. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comfort eating at this time of year as the body craves nourishment (and thoughts of bikinis and skimpy clothes are far away as we rug up with our coats, boots and scarves).
Soups are a great winter food because they are highly nutritious and comforting yet despite being relatively low in calories they can be very filling so you won’t feel any deprivation. And although I don’t subscribe to the calorie counting approach, as I do not believe all calories are created equally, it is important to watch portion sizes for obvious reasons.
I find that cooking a big pot of delicious soup at the beginning of the week is a great way to sort out dinners or lunches for work or home, and so easy to freeze in portion sizes, reheat and serve. I prefer not to heat up my soup in the microwave (I actually prefer not to use the microwave at all unless really necessary), but if I have to I never heat it up in plastic. There has been so much research to show that chemicals from plastic leech into our food when heated – and let’s face it we get enough nasty chemical exposure as it is! Rant over!
Now for my absolutely delicious Cinnamon and Coconut Pumpkin Soup.
I am fairly liberal with the quantities here, so feel free to experiment with your tastes. Coconut milk/cream can be quite rich so be careful not to overdo it. The cinnamon here gives the soup a delicous sweetness which will make it hard for you not to lick your plates!
Also – you can also roast the pumpkin a day or 2 before to make it quicker for you to prepare (but be warned – it won’t last long on it’s own in the fridge!!)
Note – if you own a Thermomix, I have included the Thermomix method below – enjoy!
Cinnamon and Coconut Pumpkin Soup
What you will need:
1/2 jap pumpkin or butternut pumpkin. I used a large jap pumpkin from my sister’s garden (love fresh produce!) and chopped it in half.
1 large or 2 small onions roughly chopped
About 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock, or vegetable stock (if you want to keep this vegan), or water would be fine too – the flavours are very rich! Here is a link to my easy slow cooker chicken stock here.
About 1/2 can of coconut milk/cream (full fat organic if possible). You may not wish to add as much as this – it depends on the amount of soup etc – so perhaps add according to taste.
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Chives to serve
How to pull it together:
Chop up the pumpkin into fairly even sized cubes and place on baking paper in a roasting tray. Sprinkle with cinnamon, sea salt and pepper. You can spritz with a bit of olive oil (but please don’t use those aerosol cans – they are so bad for you!) and bake in a 180 degree Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) oven for about 40 minutes or until roasted through.
When the pumpkin is cooked or you are ready to make the soup, heat about 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large soup pot or saucepan and sauté the onion with a sprinkle of salt (to stop it from burning) until transparent. Add the roasted pumpkin and toss through until well coated. Add the stock or water until the pumpkin and onion are covered and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool until ready to serve. When ready to serve, blitz the soup with a hand held blender or in a food processor. Bring back onto the heat and add the coconut milk/cream stirring until well combined. Serve with a sprinkle of chives.
If Using A Thermomix:
Add the onion to the mixing bowl and chop speed 5 for 5 seconds.
Add the butter or coconut oil and saute for 3 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 2.
Add the baked pumpkin and broth or stock to cover. Cook for 20 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 1.
Add coconut milk and blitz speed 9 for 1 minute.
Season to taste and serve sprinkled with chives.
Hmmmm enjoy X