Spicy Pumpkin Curry Soup

Let’s talk soup. A soothing and savory soup ideal for fall and winter days.

I had been staring at a can of coconut milk sitting in my pantry for a couple of weeks. I finally decided to put it to good use, in quite an unorthodox way. Normally I would throw it in my green curry Thai stew, but, I decided to make a pot of delicious spicy pumpkin curry soup instead. My colleagues raved about the soup at work and asked me for the recipe.

Let me share the wisdom with all of you! Let’s take a look at our ingredients:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (coconut oil or clarified butter are also an option)
  • 2 chopped up garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, preferably minced
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 medium sized pumpkin (cut in half with pulp and seeds removed)
  • 1 block of bouillon or broth (though I usually use one and a half)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Cayenne pepper (for the spicy part)
  • Salt
  • cilantro, creme fraiche, and toasted pumpkin seeds (optional, all for the garnish)

So let’s get to work!

I first start by rubbing the pumpkin halves with olive oil and roasting them in the oven for about 35 minutes (or until the flesh is tender when pricked with a fork). Wait until they are cool enough to touch and scoop the pumpkin flesh out from the skins in order to use it later.

Once you’re done with we that we begin making the soup. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Melt your olive oil (or coconut oil) and add your onion. Wait before you start stirring and let the chopped up onion get brown on one side. Then add the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the garlic becomes slightly brown. Add the curry powder and coriander and constantly stir until the spices become toasted and fragrant, should take about a minute. Then add the stock, coconut milk and pumpkin, and bring to a boil.

After a few seconds, turn off the heat, and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. Once the soup is completely smooth, turn flame back on to medium-high heat and bring soup to a simmer.

Serve soup with a bit of creme fraiche, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cilantro leaves (this is of course, optional!)

Buen provecho!

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Cheese Nachos and Guacamole with Spirulina

I know what most of you are thinking…spiru what? If you haven’t heard of this superfood then it’s time you got acquainted.

My ingredient of the week is spirulina. Let me set the stage here:

  • Spirulina is actually one of the oldest life forms on Earth. Also, it is one of the most nutrient-rich foods on Earth.
  • Spirulina has between 55 and 70% protein (so more than chicken, beef, and soybeans), 8 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids and is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin B12, iron, calcium..the list is never ending.
  • Spirulina provides a rapid energy boost once it is digested. It helps to improve endurance and reduce fatigue. Additionally, it helps to improve the immune system, and provides unparalleled aid for the heart, liver, and kidneys.
  • Spirulina is also a natural detoxifier, it helps to cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities that may be causing illnesses or other health problems.
  • If you happen to be on a diet or want to go on one, then I definitely suggest you try spirulina because its a natural appetite suppressant and it helps to improve the body’s digestive system. Its powerful antioxidant properties help to balance the body’s pH and can help to reduce inflammation in a safe and chemical-free way.
  • Spirulina is a spiral-shaped microalgae that grows naturally in the wild in warm, fresh lakes, natural springs, and saltwater.
  • If you happen to be allergic to iodine then I have some bad news. Spirulina is safe and effective but it does contain iodine, so those allergic or sensitive to iodine should avoid taking it.

Ok so now you know what you need to know about spirulina. Since it is my ingredient of the week I will use it for this week’s healthy recipe and I will also give you some organic home made tips on some facial masks that you can make with spirulina that will leave your skin as soft as a baby’s bottom. But more on that on the next article.

The recipe of this week is one of my all time favourite dip dishes: Cheese Nachos and Guacamole with Spirulina. If you dig Mexican food, then you will definitely dig this dish (and you should, ’cause Mexican food is amazing).

What do we need?

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice (yes lime juice, not lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (i.e. coriander)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1/2 a jalapeño (or a whole one if you want it reaaaally spicy), finely chopped (including the seeds)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of spirulina
  • Nachos
  • Graded cheese
  • tomatos (optional)

Let’s get started!

It’s always important to find the right avocado, not too squishy yet firm, and with a nice green colour on the inside.

Before we get started on the guacamole let’s warm up the oven (180 degrees should do it). I usually grab an oven tray and start with a layer of nachos and then I sprinkle cheese on it (cheddar usually does the trick), and then again a layer of nachos, and again sprinkle some cheese. It’s up to you how many layers you want. Once you’re done with that place the tray in the oven and let the cheese melt for a good 10 minutes. The nachos will also get warm and crispy…yum! While that magic is happening in the oven, we get make the guacamole…

Cut the avocados in half and carefully remove the pit. Scoop the avocados, place the avocados in a medium bowl, add the lime juice and let the mashing begin. While mashing (a fork does wonders) add salt. You should pretty much mash until a smooth texture is achieved. After that you can add rest of the ingredients into the mix. Always taste the guacamole (over and over) to adjust seasoning if necessary.

Usually I can make a a meal out of guacamole. I don’t even need the nachos. But nachos are tasty, so I’ll add them anyway.

The guacamole should take you no longer than 10 minutes to make. Once you’re finished, the cheese nachos will be melted and crispy enough. Remove the oven tray from the oven. You can either choose to serve the guacamole as a side dish, or you can choose to place it on top of the cheese nachos. You could also add sour cream if that’s your thing… and voilá!