Monday, October 26, 2009

Eat Orange Food, Part 1: Curry Pumpkin Soup

I love me some orange food - and if my blog posts for the week are any indication, I eat naturally orange food a lot this time of year when the gorgeous winter squash are abundant and turning on the oven is a reasonable thing to do. Here's the first of a five-part series on some of my favorite Fall recipes, brought to you by the color orange.

Halloween is this week, so you know what that means: ghosts, goblins and ghouls (boo!), the end of the season for the Napa Farmers Market (boo hoo!), and pumpkins (booyah!).

Pumpkins are just a matter of fact - everyone will have them at home this week. I love everything about them: toasting the seeds (I add chili powder and garlic salt - mmm), carving the Jack-o-Lanterns, roasting them for a side dish, making soups.

In order to load up on our Halloween haul, I dutifully made the pilgrimage to our neighborhood pumpkin patch at the Stanley Lane Market in Napa. Even without a kid in tow this year (just the big kid, Randall - he's good at pulling the wagon), we had fun wandering the corn rows, climbing the hay bale towers and inspecting the goods. With the dizzying sea of choices available, picking out our one pumpkin each was daunting. But we passed by the Turban, Buttercup and Carnival Squash; said so-long to the Fairytale, Gold Nugget and Sugar Pie Pumpkins, and just opted for the plain old big, round, orange variety. And that will suit us just fine.

This Curry Pumpkin Soup is one of my favorite Fall recipes; a perfect use for retired Jack-o-Lanterns that get roasted and turned into puree. (That is, considering they make it unscathed on the porch from the merry tricksters, aren't loaded with candle wax drippings, and are brought inside and used well before fuzzy mildew takes over. I've been guilty of all three at one time or another. Duh.) But it's a super quick recipe, and a crowd pleaser for sure. Serve it in small pumpkins that have been hallowed out to serve as a bowl, a beautiful presentation every time.

Curry Pumpkin Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree (cheat and use canned - I won't tell)
  • 1 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk (not light)
  • 1/4 cup +/- red curry paste (to your taste)
  • The juice of 4 limes; lime zest for garnish
  • Salt, to taste
In a large pot saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until the onions are soft. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well (use an immersion blender to for a smooth consistency - but sort of chunky is good too!). Simmer and stir, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt; garnish with lime zest when served.

1 comment:

  1. Your orange food posts are great !
    What about oranges, ( dried ) apricots and persimons ?
    Shredded carrots with bits of orange flesh and grated zest ( blanched )make a nice salad with a Maroccan twist. Pine nuts, almond slivers, hazelnuts are a welcome addition, too. Season with hazelnut oil and orange juice. And salt and pepper of course.

    I keep craving for orange food... Doctor, is that normal ?