Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tomato and Pumpkin Soup

Do you think that it is easier to cook a meal than it is to plan? I do, especially a light meal for those 'not so hungry, but I need to have something' days (and nights). Not again the regular fare of upma or noodles, shouts an inner voice and then I have to push myself to think something more appetizing. soups are my to go dish to put on the table.
We started this exercise of having soup one night a week for some months now. That is, I made it an exercise to disguise all those 'resistance meeting' vegetables and make them a welcome dish. Pumpkins might be somewhere in the top of I listed those vegetables, while I like them in some good curry, not always. The other day in the market, I saw that my vendor had some nice looking tender and small in size pumpkins. I just picked one ignoring a pair of rolling eyes.
Back from the market, I thought it out a bit hard and came up with this idea of adding tomatoes and nutritional yeast to the pumpkin and serve a soup. Then it struck me that I could make it vegan friendly and make a cream to top the soup. I happened to have in stock cashews and pumpkin nuts too. Little more thinking and a very flavoursome soup was ready.
I had just joined a group of food photography enthusiasts who are doing weekly themed food photography. It was a coincidence that the theme of that week was soup and I was glad that I had a picture to share.

Tomato Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4 hefty servings

For the soup:
6 medium tomatoes (ripe and red)
1 cup of diced pumpkin (skin, inner strands and seeds removed)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon peepramul powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Water as required

For the cashew pumpkin cream:
2 tablespoons broken bits of cashew nuts
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Warm water to soak and grind

Basil leaves

For the cashew pumpkin cream:

Soak the nuts and seeds in warm water for about 30 minute. Drain and grind to a fine paste adding water as required.
Transfer to a bowl and adjust the water to desired consistency. Add the sugar and refrigerate for use later.

For the soup:
Heat one and half tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and toss the pumpkin in the oil.

Cook the pumpkin just about soft not mushy.
Boil some water in a pan and drop the tomatoes. Boil them just enough to remove the peel.
Keep the water simmering while you clean the tomatoes. Put them back in the water and add the pumpkin to it. Cook further until both the vegetables are done.
Allow to cool and blend in a blender to a smooth puree.
Add some water and put the puree back on fire. Mix the nutritional yeast and the peepramul powder in water and pour into the soup. Add salt and pepper adjusting to taste.
Simmer the soup for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Top it with the rest of the olive oil.
Take the soup in individual serving bowls and add the prepared cream. Garnish with basil leaves.

Serve hot and enjoy a warm bowl for yourself.

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