Our weather took a turn to the cool(er) side a couple of days ago!
In Philippines that means it didn’t get above 93 F (34C) during the day, and down to about 75 F (24C) at night. This is as close as we’re gonna get to autumn, folks. Sometimes I create my own little fall/winter in my home office by blasting the air-conditioner and pulling on a sweater, but please, let that be our little secret…
So it was a cloudy and reasonably low-humidity day. I looked out my window and imagined it was that really cool, crisp, almost biting fall weather that would beckon me outside to wade through the fallen leaves and pick apples and pull a cozy scarf around my neck to keep the chill off.
And then I turned the air-conditioner off, ditched my sweater, and went downstairs to make this curried pumpkin soup. Back to reality!! At least the heavenly smell would continue to remind me of the most lovely of all seasons!
This soup was inspired many years ago by my dear friend Mandi, who now (sadly for me) does not live in Philippines anymore… however, luckily for her, she lives in a 4-seasons, Southern Hemisphere country where she’s probably been making this soup all
Seasons are crazy, hey?
I learned this soup in Mandi’s kitchen when we would all gather in one another’s houses and the hostess would show how to make unique recipes from her home country. So fun and I miss it dearly! Mandi is originally from South Africa, has the loveliest accent ever, and makes a mean Milk Tart that I just die over. But I’m gonna truly keep that a secret for now and share instead her equally delicious and absolutely creamy & dreamy pumpkin soup! Over the years the original recipe gradually disintegrated under the influence of pumpkin & juicy apples, so I had to memorise it long ago. I sincerely hope I have not changed a thing… but if I have, I ask Mandi’s forgiveness. It is perfection. I’m struck every time I make it by its utter simplicity, perfect marriage of flavours, and the fact that it’s supremely creamy with no cream… Divine!
Other than vegetarian (or chicken) broth, this picture shows all the ingredients used in this beautiful soup. I love that it gets its sweetness from an apple- another of my fall favourites. The spice blend is amazing: curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, cinnamon stick, cayenne pepper, and fresh garlic. It all enhances the pumpkin’s sweet, smoky richness and keeps you coming back for yet another
In Philippines we use the local kalabasa squash, but in other countries, butternut squash would work just fine.
This soup comes together in about 45 minutes and makes enough for lunches throughout the week. As if being fantastically delicious were not enough, it’s also high in fiber and beta-carotene, an essential anti-oxidant. What could be better than that??
Even if this “cool” weather doesn’t last, I’m gonna blast the air-con and enjoy my soup to the very last drop. I know Mandi is enjoying it in cool weather thousands of miles away, but somehow, eating this soup makes me feel we are in the same room.
What food or recipe reminds you of good friends??