Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn- the sesason for rich colors and gorgeous comfort food.

Autumn's here! I love it for the wonderful colors that that it brings- the rich reds and oranges and dried greens. It's also the season which has the most creative fashion pieces in my opinion. But this blog entry is about food, and pumpkin is just about as autumn as you can get.

Butternut pumpkin is my favorite to cook with as I love how beautifully it blends with spices.

Two pumpkin soups that are perfect for this weather are pumpkin and cumin soup and pumpkin soup with chili and soured cream

Pumpkin and Cumin Soup

30g butter
2 medium (300g) onions, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cups (750ml) chicken stock
1kg butternut pumpkin, chopped
pinch nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


Heat the butter in a large pan, add onion and cook until soft; add cumin, cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
Add stock, pumpkin and nutmeg, simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
Blend or puree soup in batches. Return to pan, reheat, serve sprinkled with chives (although coriander or parsley works good, too).

Freeze and microwave suitable and on the table in 40 minutes.
Recipe taken from Australian Women's Weekly Make it Tonight- SOUPS.

Pumpkin soup with chili and soured cream

pumpkin, 1kg peeled and chopped
olive oil 4 tbsp
red chillies 1-2, seeded and finely chopped
garlic, 1 clove
milk, 375ml
chicken or vegetable stock 750ml
coriander leaves- a handful, roughly chopped (optional)
soured cream to serve

Heat the oven to 200C/Fan180C/gas6. Put the pumpkin in a roasting tin, drizzle with the oil and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender and a little browned around the edges.
Tip the pumpkin, chilli, and garlic into a saucepan with the milk and stock and bring to the boil (don't worry if it splits). Reduce heat and simmer for eight minutes. Cool a little then whiz in a blender until smooth and season well.
Stir through the coriander, if using, and top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4
on the table in 40 minutes
taken from BBC Books Olive Magazine's 101 Global Dishes: Classic Dishes from Around the World.

So there were the soup recipes. If you're looking for something exotic and sublime, maybe this dish would do. I cooked it around two years ago when I threw a Moroccan themed dinner party and it was one of the main courses. It went perfectly with the Moroccan bread and lamb tagine.

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stew

60g butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of cayenne pepper
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron threads
600g butternut pumpkin
500g orange sweet potato, peeled and cubed
60g raisins
1 tablespoon honey
corainder leaves to serve

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon stick and the cayenne pepper. Stir over low heat for 1 or two minutes. Pour in the stock, add the saffron, then increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil.
Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, raisins and honey and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the cinnamon stick, transfer to a bowl and scatter with coriander leaves.

Serves 4 to 6
Taken from Murdoch Books' A Little Taste of Morocco

So there you have it :)
Three exotic recipes with pumpkin perfect for this season.

Enjoy cooking,
Spontaneous Euphoria

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