Winters in Melbourne can be very cold and the only way to stay warm is by eating a bowl of steaming hot pumpkin soup. Soup is particularly effective on those days when it’s hard to keep the body warm and nourished. At the moment, Melbourne is experiencing frosty mornings and cold, dark days. So to beat the cold, pots of pumpkin soup are simmering in kitchens across the city.
The best thing about being vegan is that you can make a pumpkin soup in any combination you wish. By far, my favourite soup ingredient is pumpkin soup because it’s so versatile. You can use pumpkin to create different versions of soup (case in point, my citrus pumpkin and zucchini soup) and you can even combine ingredients you least expect will work together.
Recently, I created a ginger coconut pumpkin soup because I needed to use up some ingredients in my fridge. The ingredients are very easy to find in your supermarket and you can make this pumpkin soup as a delicious starter to your weekly dinner. Plus, you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day and you can freeze the rest for an emergency meal in the near future.
1 kg of Butternut pumpkin
1 medium sweet potato
2 medium potatoes
1 generous teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
4 to 6 cups of vegetable stock
2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
1 small handful of fresh mint leaves
1 small handful of fresh parsley leaves
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Peel and chop pumpkin, sweet potato and potatoes evenly, roughly 2 cm cubes. Don’t forget to de-seed the pumpkin. If you want a bit of extra texture, leave the skin on the two potatoes.
Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a deep soup pot. Add the ginger and sauté quickly until fragrant.
Add the chopped root vegetables and season generously. Stir through the ginger for another couple of minutes and reduce the heat slightly.
Pour in the stock and start with four cups. The vegetable stock should cover the root vegetables so add more stock if needed. Put the lid on the pot and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the root vegetables have softened.
While the pot is simmering, finely chop the mint and parsley together. Shake the tin of coconut milk well then open.
Once the root vegetables are soft, remove the pot from the stove and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Stir with a wooden spoon to ensure any lumps are blended through.
Pour in the coconut milk. You may need a spatula to scoop out any coconut cream that’s stuck to the sides of the tin. Stir the coconut milk through the soup thoroughly until the coconut cream clumps have melted. If the soup is still quite thick, add some plant-based milk or vegetable stock until you achieve the desired consistency. Add the chopped herbs and stir through evenly.
Taste the soup before serving. If the soup is quite sweet, add some salt and stir through then taste again. This should balance out the sweetness.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with vegan bagels or roti.