This recipe takes me back to a rainy day in Goa. We were sitting by the river, watching the pouring rain create zig zag patterns all over the surface. We sipped on our chilled beer as we waited for the service to start. The kitchen was all pumped up, getting ready for the rush that would soon hit us. The menu of the day included my very favourite Roasted Pumpkin Walnut Soup.
There’s something very very relaxing about this soup, am not too sure if it comes from its warm woody walnut crumb or the aroma of the cinnamon or just the fact that the process of baking the pumpkin to add that golden colour or the sweet aroma sets that very wintry calming mood.
I’ve opted to bake my pumpkin slices in an oven, but you could very well just pressure cook the pumpkin with the onion if you’re running out of time.It saves a good 30 minutes!
Time taken: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour if baking, 20 minutes if pressure cooking + 10 minutes
Skill level: Basic
Equipment Needed: Skillet, Oven, Deep Thick Bottomed Pan or Soup Pan
- 500 grams of red pumpkin
- 2 onions, chopped coarsely
- 2 2-inch cinnamon pieces
- 100 grams of dry roasted walnuts
- 200 ml of cream or milk (I’ve used milk)
- 200 ml of water
- Salt and pepper to season
- 4 sage leaves
- Pinch of paprika powder
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
If using the oven:
1 Skin the pumpkin and cut up into large slices. Place them in a baking dish and smear them with half the olive oil. Bake at 150 degree centigrade in a pre heated oven for at least an hour.
2. After 30 minutes, add the sliced onion and the cinnamon pieces to it and continue to bake till the onion is golden and pumpkin disintegrates to the touch of a fork.
If using the pressure cooker:
1 Heat a deep dish pan with a tablespoon of oil. Add the skinned pumpkin that’s been cut into large pieces. When the pumpkin gets a deep orange colour, add the onions and the cinnamon pieces and stir fry the onion is translucent and pumpkin gets a golden glow.
2. Pressure cook the onions and pumpkin for about 10 minutes. Release steam and let cool.
Once you’ve achieved the right consistency of the pumpkin:
3. Liquidise the pumpkin and the onion with the water till you get a thick paste.
4. Now in a soup pan or deep thick bottomed pan, add the rest of the oil. You could add some chopped up garlic if you wish at this stage but I’d refrained from using it this time. Pour the pureed contents into the pan. And add the milk or cream. Your soup should have a thick and creamy consistency.
5. Lower the flame and let the coup cook on a low flame till it is sufficiently hot.
6. Coarsely ground the walnuts and add it to the soup, keeping some aside for garnish.
7. When the soup is heated, season it with salt and crushed pepper.
8. In a flat pan, add some oil and fry sage leaves till they are crisp. Set aside.
9. Pour the soup into individual serving bowls. Add the roasted walnut crumbs on it and sprinkle it with some paprika powder. Set the fried sage leave right in the centre of the bowl and serve it along with freshly baked bread.
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