Recipes, Soups & Salads, Vegetarian
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Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Chili Maple Croutons

Now don’t be babies and skip this post because it’s got ‘kaddu/ kumbalkayi’ as the star ingredient. I know I ran a mile when my mom made pumpkin playa when I was a kid. There was so much drama about not eating it, that my mom finally relented and stopped making it for many years. But I guess I was always a hypocrite when it came to pumpkins. There’s a special halwa (sweet) called ‘Kashi Halwa’, that’s made out of pumpkins for our wedding ceremonies. I used to wait patiently furiously tapping my banana leaf for the waiter to serve us the halwa. I would quickly devour it before he finished serving the rest of the table and act like he missed serving me. The look on the waiter’s face was priceless!  But topping that look was mine, when my mom finally told me that the halwa was made out of pumpkin! Evil evil woman! After that I had to make my peace with the pumpkin. (If only to avoid the dichotomy while eating the halwa!)
Circa 2012, over a dinner in Graze at the Taj Vivaanta – I order Pumpkin Soup. The co-resident looks like he’s going to gag on his breadstick. I look at him smugly with a wait and watch approach. The soup is divine! Maybe because of the generous amount of truffle oil, but divine nonetheless. It also costs an arm and a leg. So I come back home and attempt to replicate it over the weekend. And the result is this gorgeous concoction. Yum yum yum… I kicked the recipe up a notch and served it with some Maple-paprika croutons. I now crown myself Queen of the Pumpkin Patch! 😛

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Maple Chili Croutons
Prep time: 10 mins
Roasting time: 35 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves: 4
What you need:
500 gms/ ¼ of a large Sweet Pumpkin
1 bulb or 15 cloves of Garlic
1 med Onion, cut into wedges
1 ¼ litre Stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp Red Chili flakes
1 tsp Honey
100 ml Cream
Olive Oil
Rock Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
For the Maple Chili Croutons:
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup/ Pancake Syrup
1 tsp Chill flakes
2 loaves of Multigrain bread, cut into cubes
Salt
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
What to do:
Preheat the oven/grill to 200°C. Score the fleshy side of the pumpkin well and drizzle with olive oil, salt, chilli flakes and pepper. Toss the garlic and onion in the same mixture. Lay out the pumpkin and onion in a roasting pan, put the garlic cloves on top (otherwise they will burn) and roast for 30-35 mins until nice and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Now scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and puree in mixie along with the roasted garlic and onion. Add ½ cup of stock to get a nice and smooth puree with no lumps.
Transfer the puree to a large pot. Add the rest of the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Drizzle the honey and mix well. Add in a Tbsp cream and stir. Now add the rest of the cream and just give it a good simmer for the next five minutes.
Note 1: Do not boil the soup as the cream can curdle.
Note 2: You can adjust the quantity of cream to the level of ‘creaminess you want – I actually prefer lesser cream to let the pumpkin flavor shine through
Serve the soup in a nice bowl garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and chili flakes and served with the crunchy maple chili croutons.
Maple Chilli Croutons
Toss the cubes of bread with the maple syrup and chili flakes and salt. In a pan, heat some olive oil and shallow fry the cubes till nice and crisp.
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