Curried Pumpkin Soup
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped-about 2 cups
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or vegetable spread
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp (to 2 tbsp.) minced, peeled fresh ginger, available locally at this time of year!
- 8 fresh curry leaves
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1 tsp salt (or less, as desired)
- 1/4 to 3/4 tsp. dried hot pepper flakes, as desired
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp brown or yellow mustard seeds
- 3 1/2 cup mashed pumpkin, fresh, preferably
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can coconut milk (14 oz)
- 4 cup water
Cook onions in butter in a wide 6-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, one minute. Add cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook, stirring, one minute. Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth, and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl, and return soup to the pot. Keep soup warm over low heat.
Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop (this happens quickly so keep your eye on them!), about 15 seconds. Add curry leaves, cook 5 seconds, then pour mixture into pumpkin soup. Stir until combined well and season soup as desired. Soup can be thinned with additional water.