This year, I got completely carried away by the excitement that is pumpkin carving when you have a toddler at home - especially since he's just old enough to realise what's going on... truth is, I had a lot of pumpkin meat at the end of it and decided to freeze some of it for a rainy day.
Having spent most of my life without a freezer, I now have a bad habit of freezing leftovers without ever using them up... for example, last summer, I decided to cut up all fruit that was on the height of its days with no prospect of being eaten any time soon, store it neatly in tupperware containers and make jam from it later in the year - and before I knew it, a year had passed and the containers were still untouched... so the fruit went in the bin after all.
This time, though, it took me less than two weeks to actually defrost the left-over pumpkin, probably because the little one kept reminding me about it, having adopted "pumpkin" into his rather limited vocabulary. So on one of those terribly rainy days where you can't really bring yourself to leave the warmth of your home and all you long for is a comforting bowl of soup and some toasted bread, I consulted my freezer instead. With some blood oranges waiting to be squeezed, I decided on trying my luck on a more exotic variation for pumpkin soup and added some coconut for good measure as well... certainly a delightful combination, even though in hindsight, a cold autumn day calls for more stodge - maybe some crispy bacon bits or toasted pumpkin seeds - well, there's always a next time!
Pumpkin, coconut & blood orange soup
(serves 4 as a main, 6 as a starter)
1 shallot (roughly chopped)
25 ml groundnut oil
750 g pumpkin meat (approx. 1 - 1.5 kg pumpkin)
50 g dessicated coconut
150 ml blood orange juice (freshly squeezed)
500 ml vegetable stock
200 ml coconut milk
2 tbsp honey
dessicated coconut for decoration
Heat the oil in a stock pot, fry the shallot until soft without browning.
Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin meat into rough dice, then add to the pot with the coconut, stirring repeatedly until the pumpkin is softening. Deglaze with the blood orange juice, add the stock and leave to simmer until the pumpkin is completely cooked, ca. 20 minutes. Purée until smooth, using a hand-held blender.
Add the coconut milk and honey, then season to taste.
Sprinkle with dessicated coconut and serve with toasted bread on the side.