When I was a kid, Mum did not cook pumpkins a lot, especially the yellow/orange/red types. The ‘pumpkins’ I was more familiar with were the Asian Squashes, such as bitter melon, chinese okra or angled loofah (ketola), hairy melon or moqua, and chinese winter melon.
Down Memory Lane
One day, one of my Aunts (Mum’s eldest sis) who was staying with us briefly, cooked a pot of pumpkin dish in my Mum’s kitchen. The pumpkin was cut in square-ish chunks, cooked with dried anchovies and shallots and seasoned with white pepper and salt. I remembered being served a plate of rice with the pumpkin dish and one whole fried fish. There were 5 identical plates served on the long rectangular table for us 5 siblings then. Mum was in confinement with her 6th and last, hence my Aunt was given the role of Nanny.
The 5 of us were seated orderly at the table. As soon as we finished our meal, we were free to leave the table. After a few minutes, the first one left, then the second and the third and fourth. The 5th remained….20, 30, 45 minutes… On her plate was a small amount of rice with the chunks of pumpkin left untouched or pretty much, untouched, while the fried fish was a bony structure, ie all gone. Tick Tock, Tick, Tock…. the 5th was still at the table. Her dinner plate was as cold as ever. Two beady eyes were watching from right oppposite the table. There was no escape. The 5th just could not get the pumpkin dish down her throat. She felt like puking from each single bite. It was sheer agony. Unfortunately, “Nanny Beady Eyes” did not allow the 5th to go scot-free. The end result? The 5th was ‘forcefully’ spoonfed until she gave in with tears rolling down her cheeks ….
By the way, “Nanny Beady Eyes” was not a bad Aunt at all. She had cooked fabulous dishes for us kids. That one dish just did not appeal to one child and that child happened to be moi !!!!! Oh… how I detested pumpkins from then on!
>>> Fastforward >>> I was in Belgium at my MIL’s house. It was a cold and wet Autumn day. We gathered at the dinner table and there was this bowl of brilliant orange soup. It was so tasty and creamy and bang on the money. I was drooling for my second bowl. YUM!
And guess what I had eaten at my MIL’s?
Yup, pumpkin, of course, but served differently. I have gone 180 degrees because I have begun to LOVE pumpkins! I have cooked countless pumpkin soups since then, pumpkin curries, pumpkin gratin and even pumpkin jam and roasted pumpkin seeds (Recipes Here and Here)!
And the star of today’s post is Ms Chestnut Pumpkin. Love her lots *wink*
And by the way, this pumpkin did not cost me more than a Euro! It was darn cheap at only 89 Euro cents!!
I have made this soup innumerable times and it has always been a hit with my guys.
With the cold and wet Autumn weather at hand, a bowl of hot and tasty soup is always welcome 😉
Here’s my favourite. Simple, healthy and hassle-free recipe with ingredients you can get easily.
- 1 small chestnut pumpkin, skinned
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 onion, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 potato, washed and peeled
- 2 Tbsp vegetable stock paste (homemade)
- Coarse sea salt and black peppercorns, ground, to taste
- Meatballs (optional)
- A pinch of curry powder, to taste
- Light cream, to drizzle
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnishing)
- Cut the skinned chestnut pumpkin in 2 halves. Remove the seeds. Roughly chop.
- Remove the stringy layer of the celery stalks, wash and roughly chop
- Roughly chop the onion and potato
- Throw all chopped ingredients in a soup pot. Add in the 3 cloves of garlic
- Add 1.8l water. Boil until the vegetables have softened. Remove the pot from the stove.
- With a hand mixer, blend the veg to a smooth consistency. Add in the veg stock, ground salt and pepper and blend to combine
- Place the soup pot back on the stove to heat the soup
- If you want meatballs in your soup, this is the time to throw them in ( either store-bought or freshly made). For vegetarian version, omit the meatballs
- Heat the soup until the meatballs float to the surface
- Serve hot with drizzles of light cream and chopped parsley. I have tried my best to make a design of a cobweb. Not quite there yet…
With Halloween round the corner, this soup makes a healthy and wholesome treat. Not a drop of oil or butter was used in this recipe.
My nostalgic Pumpkin Soup. YUM!
Without much ado, I’m linking this post to the following blog-hop cooking challenges –
October Tea Time Treats: Halloween & Bonfire Night Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Jane from The Hedgecombers
Cooking with Herbs for Autumn hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage
A2K’s Vegetable Palette for the month of October: The colour ORANGE, hosted by Shaheen
ALL HALLOWS’ EVE in advance!