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Cream of Pumpkin Turmeric Soup and Chill?

By: Feli Musing

 

I don’t know about you, but the cold weather makes me feel so lazy at times.  Combine that with a late workout session and I just want to lie down and watch Netflix or something.  In truth, sometimes you just want something you can make with whatever you have lying around the kitchen.  A dish you can leave on the stove while you relax without having to worry about it.  Growing up, soup was that stir it and leave it meal.  As I continue to fight the war against weight gain, I often miss that comfort that I get from a bowl of dumplin’, pigtail, and anything deliciously West Indian and fattening.  By now you’ve probably already seen the movie “Bird Box”, so don’t let those sneaky voices trick you into taking off your blindfold.  You can live without flour dumplin’ just this once.

 

Ingredients

 

Yield: About 4-5 servings

 

  • 1 small-medium squash “pumpkin” (butternut squash, calabaza squash, or kabocha squash work best)
  • 1-3 large carrot(s)
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 piece of fresh turmeric (1.5 inches)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried turmeric
  • 1 pimento seed/berry (allspice)
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • ¼ – ½ tablespoon sea salt or 2 – 4 pinches of sea salt
  • 1 medium can/tin of unsweetened coconut milk (13.53 ounces or so)
  • ¾ cup water
  • Optional ingredients:
    • ¼ teaspoon coconut oil
    • ½ inch – 1 inch ginger
    • a pinch of cinnamon

 

Directions

 

Chop onion, garlic, carrot, and peeled fresh turmeric into small pieces so that they cook faster.  Be sure to de-stem thyme and keep the stem as they can be thrown in whole, then fished out later.

 

Turn on fire under pot to low heat and add coconut oil or a tablespoon of water to pot.  Once oil or water has been heated, add your pimento seed/berry (allspice), diced seasonings, herbs (stems included), and carrot to pot.  Add in some dried turmeric as well.  If you’re using ginger, peel and chop it the same way you would the fresh turmeric because it would be used at the same time as these ingredients.

 

Sauteé mixture until softened.  Prepare to do the next step while the mixture cooks.

 

Peel and dice your squash “pumpkin” into small pieces so that it cooks quicker.

 

Side note – Caribbean people tend to call every orange-fleshed squash, pumpkin.  It wasn’t until adulthood that I learned that there are many different types of squash with different names.  However, I was raised on “pumpkin” so get used to me referring to every orange squash as pumpkin from this point forward.  .

 

Add your diced “pumpkin” to the seasoning mixture and stir.

 

Add coconut milk and water to the pot and stir.

 

Add your cayenne pepper and salt to the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high.  .

 

Stir your soup in the making.  Oh look at that dairy-free goodness already!

 

Bring soup mixture to a boil.  Cover pot with a lid and reduce heat to simmer.

 

Stir your soup mixture periodically.

 

At this point, your kitchen should smell very coconutty.  Enjoy the brief coconut turmeric facial you get when you check on your soup here and there.

 

After about 10-20 minutes (depending upon how tough your squash is) when both squash and carrots are tender, blend with either a hand blender or a standard blender.

 

Don’t forget to remove your thyme stems before blending!

 

Marvel at the fruits of your labor.  The intense labor it takes to put your program on pause.

 

Marvel…

 

Serve up your orange elixir in a bowl.  A serving is about a cup or a cup and a half depending on how cold your toes are feeling after your walk from the couch to the stove.

 

Enjoy this soup plain, or accompany with a little whole grain bread like pumpernickel or any Ezekiel bread.  I really enjoy the soup with a little quinoa on top and a side salad.  I often add fresh spinach directly into my soup as well.  The possibilities are truly endless, and delicious.

 

May the anti-inflammatory powers of tumeric ease your dumplin’ cravings and please your palate.  Now, back to Netflix or some lovers rock reggae to go with your meal.