PSL season is upon us. The lines at your local Starbucks have become overrun with sorority sisters in blanket scarves coveting their favourite fall sipper.
Honestly, I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes. I’ll stick with my dirty chai latte thank you very much. I just don’t think the combination of pumpkin and espresso tastes all that good, to be frank. Or maybe my palate just isn’t evolved enough.
I do like pumpkin in other flavour combinations though. Pumpkin and coconut might seem like an unlikely pairing, but it’s one that works so well. I first featured this match made in heaven around this time last year, in the form of Pumpkin Coconut Cream Tartlets – a dessert that will you have you going back for thirds.
Pumpkin is a hearty and slightly earthy flavour that is enriched by bold spices and the tropical flavour of coconut. This soup brings a classic Indian profile to this autumnal classic. The combination of coconut milk and the toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, add another dimension to the dish that makes each spoonful unique.
This soup is great for home cooks just starting out, it’s dead simple to make and doesn’t employ any fancy techniques. I would say this soup is definitely best as a starter and not a main because it doesn’t have any protein to give it heft. You could add some spiced chickpeas to make it more substantial. I’m partial to these Tandoori Chickpeas from Minimalist Baker – which would succeed in accenting the Indian flavours permeating this soup.
Sometimes I’ll just make up a batch of those chickpeas and keep them at my desk to stave off mid-afternoon hanger. They are great high-protein and guilt-free nibble that will help you sustain your energy through that 3 p.m. lull.
This soup has an incredible depth of flavour, a good balance of sweet and spicy with a fantastic velvety texture. It’s ideal for the first cooler nights of fall. Blanket scarf optional.
I have to give Starbucks credit though, their new slogan to accompany their seasonal release of the PSL is “Anything but basic” – a brilliant retort to those who would call the PSL #basic. While that claim might be called into question where the PSL consumers are concerned, this soup definitely fits that description.
Hopefully you’ll find an occasion soon and enjoy the first taste of comfort food for the season!
- 1 small apple
- ¾ cup shaved dried unsweetened coconut
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion sliced
- 1 stalk celery sliced
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- ¾ tsp mild curry powder
- ¾ tsp masala tandoori or garam masala
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2½ to 3 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup thick puréed unsweetened pumpkin canned or homemade
- One 400 mL can unsweetened coconut milk divided
- ¼ cup chopped coriander divided
- ¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
Peel, core and slice apple. Toast coconut by spreading out on a baking sheet; bake in oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ginger, curry, masala and cumin; cook 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Slowly stir in 2½ cups (625 mL) stock. Add pumpkin purée and apple slices. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Purée soup in a blender or food processor. Whirl in 1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk, 2 tbsp (25 mL) coriander and salt. If soup is very thick, thin with remaining stock. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Soup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.) Heat and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Drizzle 1 tbsp (15 mL) of coconut milk over each portion of soup; garnish with pinches of coconut and remaining coriander.
Recipe from: Bentz-Crawley, Marilyn. "Curried Pumpkin Soup with Masala and Coconut." Food & Drink. Autumn 2004.