I love soups especially on those cold & chilly nights. Indian soups are almost always made from scratch but are surprisingly simple to make and this lovely recipe is no exception. My delicious Spiced Apple & Pumpkin Soup is always in big demand when the temperatures start to dip signaling the beginning of fall. This quick & easy to prepare soup will warm both your body and soul from the inside out. The combination of apples and pumpkin is a divine culinary match made in heaven.
I prefer Granny Smith (green) apples for this recipe, their tart sweet taste lends well in this recipe but feel free to use your favorite variety of apple. I highly recommend using the small sugar pumpkin variety for this recipe. You could also make this recipe using butternut or acorn squash if you prefer in place of the pumpkin.
SPICED APPLE & PUMPKIN SOUP
2 cups Granny smith apples, roughly chopped (peeling is optional)
2 cups sugar pumpkin (or squash), peeled & roughly cubed
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
2-3 small green Thai bird chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
6-8 fresh curry leaves
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp turmeric (haldi)
¼ tsp ground cumin powder
¼ tsp red chili powder, to taste
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ cup coconut milk (or cream)
¼ tsp cardamom powder
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp butter (or ghee or oil)
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves (or chives) for garnish
In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the pumpkin cubes and cook until fork tender. Reserve 2 cups or so of the cooking liquid, drain well & set aside to cool.
Prepare the apples and sprinkle with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Mix well & set aside until needed.
In a medium sized soup pot on medium heat, add the butter. When melted, add the onions and sauté until translucent. Next, add the ginger along with the spices (bay leaf, turmeric, ground cumin powder, red chili powder, salt & pepper). Stir well to combine and add the apples along with any liquid that may have accumulated. Mix well and let cook for 6-8 minutes until the apple has softened. Now add the cooked pumpkin pieces to the pot along with the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a gentle boil and let cook for a few more minutes. Let cool and then either using a hand held immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until you have reached your preferred desired consistency. Return the soup to a low heat and stir in the cream (or coconut milk) along with the cardamom & nutmeg.
Let cook for just another minute or so and then transfer to a soup tureen or large serving bowl. Remember to fish out the bay leaf before serving.
In another small saucepan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When they stop splattering, add the cumin seeds along with the green chilies & curry leaves. After 30 seconds or so, pour this entire hot oil mixture over the apple & pumpkin soup. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves & a drizzle of coconut milk (or cream). Serve hot as a soup course or as a part of any Indian meal.
Instead of boiling the pumpkin, try roasting it in an oven for an exciting twist. You could also add ½ tsp of good quality curry powder for a subtle warm delicious flavor.
You could also serve the soup with some crispy croutons or some crispy paneer cubes, either way is absolute yummy.