Seasonal cooking is very much what we do here in rural France. A simple pumpkin soup can be a star of the dinner. Here is how it’s done in Galya’s kitchen:
you need large deep casserole dish, 2 baking trays, hand blender.
pumpkin 1/2 of large or 1 small
Carrots 5-6 large
Onions 3-4 large or 5-6 medium
Garlic 5-6 cloves
Coconut milk 1 litre
Ginger fresh finely chopped – 1tbs
Juice of 1 large lemon or 2 limes
cumin seeds – 1 tbs, ground turmeric – 1tbs , paprika – 1tsp, fennel seeds – 1 tbs ( or ground fennel seeds 1 tsp), ground cardamom 1/2 tsp, coriander seeds 1 tbs ( or ground coriander 1tsp), salt , pepper
The spices can be substituted with green or red Curry paste, but be careful and add it gradually, starting from 1 teaspoon.
Preheat oven for 200C°
Cut pumpkin into large slices and arrange on the baking tray.
Peel carrots and onions. Cut onions in quarters and chop carrots in halves. Arrange prepared vegetables on the second tray.
No oil required.
Put both trays into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
Check the tray with the pumpkin slices for juice which will come out while baking and pour it into the casserole , putting the pumpkin back into the oven.
Add whole cloves of garlic onto the carrots and onion tray and bake for 15 minutes more.
Take carrots and onions tray out , leaving pumpkin to bake for 20-30 minutes more, until the pumpkin slices start caramelizing.
Peel roasted garlic cloves and put all roasted vegetables ( carrots, onions and garlic) into the casserole .
Add finely chopped ginger.
Roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds ( if using) for a 2-3 minutes on a dry pan, then ground them with a pestle in a mortar. If you don’t have mortar and pestle, use a chopping board and a rolling-pin, crashing the seeds by slowly rolling the pin over and putting as much weight on the rolling-pin as possible.
Take the roasted pumpkin out of the oven, peel the skin off and put pumpkin into the casserole with the rest of the vegetables. Deglaze the tray with some hot water and pour it into the casserole. ( Our dog Max loves the roasted pumpkin skin, so nothing goes wasted 🙂 )
Add ground spices , 2 glasses of water, coconut milk , bay leave , salt and pepper and simmer for 30 to 40 min .
Turn off , blend with a hand blender until smooth and add lemon juice.
Serve with cream or cream frache.