Pumpkin Soup

One of the most humble vegetable of all; Pumpkin. Strange it does get such a bad reputation in North America when it is only used for Halloween parties. But once you discovered its richness, its velvety texture and wonderful taste, you can use it for so many recipes either sweet or savoury. Combined with a few spices, you can make a wonderful dessert such as pumpkin pie which is so popular in North America, Cupcakes which are gaining in popularity and are now considered the New Carrot Cake, or a wonderful and creamy soup. How rich and decadent, yet so healthy. Pumpkin seeds oil is very popular and can be found in most health food stores. It is an antioxidant full of magnesium, zinc and fatty acids — all of which may help keep your heart healthy. Studies have even shown that pumpkin seed oil may reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels; who knew !
People are scared of pumpkin, yet, it is so easy to prepare. Simply cut them in halves or quarters, brush them with a little vegetable oil and bake them for 45 minutes at 180 Celsius. Remove from the oven and cover them with a tea towel. Once cooled, you can remove the skin very easily. As for the seeds, when you cut the pumpkin, remove them and place them on a separate baking tray, covered with parchment paper. Bake them in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Give them a good shake and bake them for a further 20 minutes. They should be dry, crispy and so delicious.

INGREDIENTS
Pulp of a medium size Pumpkin
1 Large Onion chopped in large cubes
2 Garlic cloves peeled and cut in half
1 Tablespoon Coriander powder
1 Quart of Water
1 Chicken Broth Gel from Knorr
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
Pour the olive oil in a heavy saucepan, once hot, stir in the onion and garlic and cook for two minutes, until the onions start to brown at the edges. Add the coriander powder and cook for another two minutes or so. Add the pumpkin pulp, salt and pepper.
Cover the pulp with water and add the chicken gel.
Bring to a soft boil and cook for 7-10 minutes.
Using a hand held mixer, puree the soup until creamy and soft.
It may appear quite liquid, but let it rest and it will thicken considerably when it cools down.
Serve with croutons, pumpkin seeds or a dollop of sour cream or a little bit of plain yogurt.


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