Friday, May 27, 2011

Excellent Kumara, Pumpkin and Peanut Soup

Tonight's recipe is a firm Cake family favourite, and comes to you courtesy of the ever-amazing mother and son duo of Alison and Simon Holst. It's from the Very Easy Vegetarian Cookbook, which is awash with great recipes (corn chip casserole, strange as it sounds, is another favourite of ours). I'm actually hoping I might catch the Holsts in action at the Food Show tomorrow for some classic Kiwi fooding.

I really love this recipe - it's easy, fairly inexpensive, reasonably healthy and is great comfort food and actually somewhat nutritious (mostly my comfort food involves lots of what the calorie-counting brigade would call "empty calories" - meaning there's not a great deal of nutritive value. Me, I count flavour as nutrition for the soul so it doesn't bother me too much, but it's still nice to know you're looking after yourself!).

I love soup in the winter - it's a bit like wrapping up in a fuzzy blanket, completely warms you up. This soup is one of my favourites for that wrapped-in-a-blanket feeling - the combination of starchy veges and a touch of nuttiness makes for a very hearty-seeming meal. 

It's really easy, too - cook up the onion, garlic and spice, then add the veg and stock and simmer. Right at the end add the peanut butter and mash or blend and you're there. I love the smooth, thick, creamy stuff that the stick blender makes possible (not perfectly smooth - tiny crunchy bits of peanut = perfection), whereas Mr Cake prefers a chunkier soup. We actually decided that next time we might scoop out 1/3 of the veges before blending, then add it back in, and see if we can get the best of both worlds.

I am super excited about the Food Show tomorrow - among other things I'm hoping to trade in my peanut butter at Pic's stall, so next time I make this soup it'll be just a tiny bit fancier. ;-)

What's your favourite soup? Do you prefer it chunky as Mr Cake does, or do you like it blitzed and creamy?

Kumara, Pumpkin and Peanut Soup (adapted from Alison and Simon Holst's Very Easy Vegetarian Cookbook)

1 onion
2 Tbsp butter or oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste - 1/2 tsp is mild)
1 large kumara (about 250g)
250-350g pumpkin
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (or 4 tsp stock powder dissolved in 4 cups of water)
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt (if peanut butter not salted)

Finely chop the onion. Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook over low heat until soft. Add the spices and stir over moderate heat for a minute or so longer.

Chop the kumara and pumpkin and add to the saucepan with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the peanut butter, and salt if required. Puree or mash (I used a stick blender) and serve immediately. Serves 4-6


  1. Chunky soup all the way for me.

    It's funny, but I love pumpkin roasted or mashed, but I don't like pumpkin soup. Go figure.

    Have fun at the Food Show!

  2. If you trade in your peanut butter at Pic's stall and your vanilla at Heilala you've pretty much covered the cost of your food show ticket! Only trouble is once you get onto Heilala & Pics you'll never go back.

  3. I loooove Pic's peanut butter. In fact I just bought another jar today. I have to buy the next jar before I've finished the first one so I don't run out!

  4. Kaz, that's interesting. I used to hate pumpkin, but love it now - not a fan of it roasted in giant wedges like my Grandma does it, though!

    Libby, I totally did that - great deal! Time will tell if I'm a true convert...

    Anita, it is delicious! Can't be having peanut butter outages... ;-)

  5. This sounds delicious! It's getting so cold here at the moment, and soups are definitely ideal. Creamy or chunky I like them either way. As long as they are warm and tasty I'm not fussed. :P The flavours in this one sound soooo good.

  6. I know, soup season is setting in properly now! Brr!

  7. Completely random recipe but just made tonight for dinner, totally delish, yummo!

  8. Nice one - we had this last week, definitely soup season now. :-)


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