The first time I had pumpkin I was in São Paulo, Brazil with Matthijs. We stayed in a hostel with a kitchen, we had been travelling for about five months, and just realized while in a supermarket that groceries were on the expensive side. So instead of buying familiar ingredients, we decided on ingredients that were somewhat affordable. Therefore we ended up with half a pumpkin, stock cubes, something resembling crème fraiche, and a piece of bread. The kitchen was minimally equipped, so I think we ended up mashing the cooked pieces of pumpkin with a fork until we could mix it with the stock and make a soup out of it. Luckily now we’re at home, we have a stick blender to do all the hard work.
This recipe didn’t start out as a soup. Actually I was making a recipe from NOPI, the cookbook, but when a discovered at 7.30 PM that a bunch of halved tomatoes needed to sunbathe in the oven for eighty (!) minutes, and I already prepared everything else, it was time for a new plan. This is the result.
spicy pumpkin soup + lime yoghurt
- 1 medium butternut squash (800g)
- olive oil
- salt + pepper
- 3 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely diced
- 750 ml stock
- 120 g coconut yoghurt or greek yoghurt
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ lime, zest + juice
- baking paper
- mortar + pestle
- stick blender
Preheat the oven to 220ᵒC fan.
Trim the butternut squash, halve it length ways, remove the seeds, then cut widthways into 2½ cm wide slices. Mix the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
Put the ginger and chili in the mortar and pestle, and grind them to a paste. Set aside.
Place all ingredients for the lime yoghurt in a small bowl, with ½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
A couple of minutes for the squash is ready, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, and cook out the ginger and chili paste. Make sure the paste doesn’t make a backflip out of the mortar and pestle and makes the oil splash everywhere. After approximately three minutes, add the pumpkin and stock. Blend with the stick blender. If the soup is a little thick to your liking, add a little more stock or water. Season to taste. Serve with the lime yoghurt.