Pumpkin and tamarind soup

Pumpkin and tamarind soup

By
From
Good Better Green
Serves
4

This is a delicious North African-inspired soup that would make a great starter course, but is equally good as a light meal with some flatbread and hummus. Tamarinds are tart fruits often used as a spice and souring agent in South Asian, but also North African, dishes. They are rich in tartaric acid (a powerful antioxidant), several minerals and vitamins, and contain many volatile phytochemicals with medicinal properties.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
coconut oil, for frying
1.2kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into large cubes
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, trimmed, halved lengthways and sliced into half-moons
1 heaped tablespoon freshly grated ginger
580-625g vegetable or fresh chicken stock
2 tablespoons tart tamarind paste
300g pak choy, stalks and leaves separate
1 orange, juiced
small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped

For the spice oil

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1/2-1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Method

  1. Heat a little coconut oil in a large saucepan and brown the diced pumpkin in batches. You are looking for some caramelisation on the surfaces.
  2. Put all the pumpkin back into the pan with the garlic, leek and ginger and sauté for another couple of minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  3. Now add the stock and tamarind paste and simmer for 5–10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is just tender. Add the pak choy stalks and continue to cook until these, too, are tender.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the orange juice. Blend until smooth using a blender or stick blender. Stir in the chopped coriander. Keep warm, but don’t allow to boil.
  5. For the spice oil, heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan until hot but not smoking. Add the mustard seeds and fry until they start to pop (a couple of minutes). Add the chilli flakes and cumin seeds and cook until fragrant (another couple of minutes). Add the ground coriander and turmeric and cook for a minute longer.
  6. Lastly, stir the pak choy leaves and most of the spice oil into the hot soup, and serve garnished with a sprig of fresh coriander and a drizzle of spice oil.
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