Pumpkin carrot curry soup with peanuts in the Spring, not the Fall!
Well, yes, if I waited until October, you might miss out on something delicious, savory, sweet, spicy, and yet, healthy and light. No, I need to share it now. And when the fall comes, I’ll develop a completely different pumpkin soup. This is perfectly rainy day tasty and just waiting for a nice salad by it’s side to balance the spicy curry flavor. And, it fits into my skinny/sexy food category.
This “autumn in the spring” began with a $1 can of pumpkin found on clearance that was going to be my practice pumpkin for ravioli. But last Saturday standing in my familiar spot in the kitchen, getting ready to make this carrot soup, I couldn’t help myself. The “what if” went through my head and in a flash I opened the can of pumpkin. And, I immediately realized that I now have to develop a completely different recipe. I set out to make this carrot soup and ended up with pumpkin carrot curry soup.
The nagging what if I added this or tried that prevents me from remaking many of my original recipes. It’s like a compulsive tick. I have to try new things all the time, several times a week. Really, I can never be quite sure what we will be eating, even when the ingredients are all laid out on the table. How many times a pot is staring at me on the stove and I grab an ingredient and do the “what if” I added this? And, it doesn’t always work out. The garbage disposal can tell you all about my secret failures. But, there is such a warm satisfaction when a what if does work out. And, frankly, almost everything we eat is a what if. I tell you this because I really like to see people have fun with food and not eat combinations determined by the food industry or even the latest trends. I know it’s spring, not fall, but breaking the rules is part of the fun. In fact, I hope you make some Christmas cookies for Easter.
I cooked the carrots, leeks, pumpkin and then the fun began. Salted peanuts, curry, nutmeg, cardamon, and a little more curry. The salty peanuts were roasted first as they were left over from a salty caramel frosting I have yet to tell you about. The peanuts add a nice extra layer of flavor. I used all I had or I probably would have topped the soup with some crushed peanuts.
The recipe is truly a guideline, as you may prefer to chop your own chiles, or use a different hot sauce. I used to have a roommate who was born in Vietnam and we would make a lot of soup, always using the sriracha and ever since then, it’s my “go to” hot sauce. It’s very hot, so just a dollop and taste. I use this often in my Italian seafood sauces, but sparingly.
The smell of this soup made the whole house smell exotic. Savory, spicy, and sweet and heat, yet light enough for me to be able to eat half the pot and still not worry about how much I worked out this week.
I had to use a magic bullet to puree because I’ve yet to replace my emulsion blender that I burned out. It was still a bit thick and then a genius idea hit me. Use my late Aunt Rita’s tomato mill, used to make tomato puree. Perfect.
- 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
- 2 cups of water
- 1 large leek, washed, sliced thinly (white part only)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large can pumpkin
- ½ cups salted, roasted peanuts, ground in food processor (can substitute 2 tablespoons peanut butter)
- ½ cup heavy cream or half and half (or almond milk as used in this carrot soup.)
- A few squeezes sriracha chile sauce (or chopped chiles or hot sauce of your choice)
- pure maple syrup to garnish
- Put carrots in large pot with water, leeks, and all spices, until carrots are cooked.
- Add pumpkin, ground peanuts. Cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
- Stir in cream.
- Stir in chile sauce.
- Puree with immersion blender or regular blender).
- For an extra silky texture, I processed through the food mill.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot. Top each cup with yogurt, maple syrup or both.
Had I known in advance I was going to make this soup, I would have had some hot Naan bread to go with it.
This recipe was done on the fly, so please use this as a guideline, and taste along the way.