Saturday, September 06, 2008

Jap Pumpkin Soup with Curried Onions

Ulrike from Küchenlatein is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've found something that is more than just another pumpkin...

JAP Pumpkin© by Haalo


This is a Jap pumpkin and it is said to have derived its name from the growers who weren't quite sure how to to market this new pumpkin so ended up calling it Jap, an acronym of Just Another Pumpkin.

JAP Pumpkin© by Haalo


I'm not sure if it's true or just an old wives tale but it certainly is a good story.

With a speckled skin and orange flesh, it has a sweet, nutty flavour. Due to its colour it is high in beta carotene which our body can convert into Vitamin A. There are also good levels of Vitamins C and E as well as potassium.

I'll be using this pumpkin to make a soup but it won't be just another pumpkin soup. Inspiration comes from a roasted red pepper soup we enjoyed during our recent anniversary getaway.

It's a two part process - curry spiced caramelised onions at the centre, surrounded by a velvety pumpkin soup.

The soup itself is a simple mix of pumpkin and milk. I may sound like a broken record as of late I seem to make all my vegetable soups using milk, but it really can't be beaten as a neutral agent in which flavour is carried. The milk enriches the texture and focuses on the natural flavour, rewarding you with soup that tastes of the vegetable rather than the stock that you've used.


Jap Pumpkin Soup with Curried Onion© by Haalo


Jap Pumpkin Soup with Curried Onions
[Serves 4]

500 grams Jap Pumpkin, peeled, cut into small dice
milk
salt

Curried Onions
2 onions, sliced finely
Madras Curry Powder, or your favourite curry powder


Make the curried onions:
Heat a little oil and a knob of butter in a skillet over a gentle heat and when the butter has melted add in the sliced onions. Cook very slowly, stirring often.

When the onions have softened but not coloured sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of Curry powder. Stir well to ensure its evenly distributed. Taste and add more curry powder to suit your preference. Continue cooking until golden and caramelised.

Make the soup:

Heat a small knob of butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat and when the butter has just melted add the diced pumpkin. Stir well and cook for a minute before adding enough milk to cover the pumpkin. Let this simmer without boiling until the pumpkin is tender.

Pour the contents into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and salt as required. Return the soup to a clean pot and over a low heat, bring it back up to temperature. If you feel the soup is too thick then add a little milk to slacken.

Assemble the soup:

Place a spoonful of the warm caramelised onions into the center of your serving bowls.

Jap Pumpkin Soup with Curried Onion© by Haalo


Place the soup into a jug and pour it carefully around the onions.

Jap Pumpkin Soup with Curried Onion© by Haalo

If you are serving this at a dinner party, get your guests to pour the soup themselves.

Jap Pumpkin Soup with Curried Onion© by Haalo

The soup itself is pure pumpkin, silky smooth and luxurious - the curried onions help to accentuate the pumpkins sweetness. It is a simple soup but the flavours are profound.

24 comments:

  1. I love Jap pumpkin too, although it took me a long time to shift from my beloved butternut. What an amazing recipe you have for it, one I am certain to try.

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  2. I never had Jap... And that soup looks like something I must try :) Do you think I could use butternut in this recipe?

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  3. Thanks Vegeyum - the texture is really something special.

    Thanks Marija - i think you could use any pumpkin and most certainly butternut would work well.

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  4. Looks beautiful! I don't know if we have jap pumpkins here, but I suppose regular pumpkins would work as well?

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  5. This soup looks so creamy and delicious, I'm looking forward to giving it a try. The curried onions are genius!

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  6. Not a big fan of pumpkin, but this soup looks so nice . The curried onions must be perfect for the creamy soup.

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  7. The curried onion is a great twist to the classic pumpkin soup.

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  8. What a lovely, simple recipe. I always want to make more soups but get so overwhelmed when I try to concoct them. This, I could handle...

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  9. This soup sounds delicious... and the pictures are making me hungry. I will have to try this before the weather warms up too much.

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  10. The curried onions are a wonderful touch. I haven't seen this type of squash over here, but it definitely sounds good. Love the color of the soup too.

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  11. Thanks JS - any pumpkin should suit.

    Thanks MC - you'll have to taste it and you'll be amazed at just how creamy it is and all you've used is milk!

    Thanks Kate - maybe the soup might convert you ;)

    Thanks Nora - curried pumpkin soup is a classic so this is just another way of approaching that flavour combination

    Thanks Cmoore - hope you give it a try!

    Thanks Sarah - it should be nice in spring too

    Thanks Kalyn - I think the Jap might be the Kent variety of Pumpkin but you could probably use any pumpkin

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  12. The curried onions are great! They would give an interesting twist to this soup! Thanks for a fabulous idea! Your pictures are awesome!

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  13. I like pumpkin soup. This kind look very familiar to me. The curried onions are a great addition.

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

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  14. Wow - just look at the texture of that soup!! I love the idea of serving it around spicy onions and have already bookmarket this recipe. I've never even seen a jap pumpkin but will now be looking out for them!

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  15. Those onions look fabulous. I was sort of regretting the end of summer but now can't wait until winter squashes start to appear at the vegetable stands.

    -Elizabeth

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  16. Very pretty!

    Good point about the milk being neutral flavor vs chicken stock.

    I wonder if I could use fried shallots and toss them with curry powder before garnishing on the soup.

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  17. blinding! i'll definately try this, thanks haalo!:)

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  18. I could do with a bowl of JAP pumpkin soup now....It is freezing cold here in ape Town.

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  19. Thanks Ning!

    Thanks Ulrike - i'm pretty sure you might see it sold as a Kent Pumpkin

    Thanks Jeanne - hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks Elizabeth - the onions are good just by themselves.

    Thanks Nate n Annie - if you serve this as a shot, like an amuse, then shallots should work

    Thanks Heart!

    Sounds like this would certainly warm you up Nina!

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  20. Brillant idea - I love the idea of keeping the onions ans flavourings separate.

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  21. camilla BakerSeptember 11, 2008

    I sooooo miss Jap pumpkins!! Great idea with the curried onions. I love your blog! I am just new to the blog world and you have impressed me-double happy to find another Aussie. Thanks!

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  22. And here I was thinking that Jap was actually short for Japanese pumpkin! Great looking soup, Haalo. Love the colour!

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  23. Love both the colour and the silky texture, and the idea of curried onions is brilliant! I cannot get Jap pumpkin here, but I'll surely think of something.

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  24. Thanks Emma - i really love your version too!

    Thanks Camilla and welcome - there's a lot of aussie food bloggers out there to discover!

    Thanks Y - it gets more confusing when they also use Jap to refer to the real japanese Kabocha pumpkins

    Thanks Pille - something like a butternut would be a good substitute

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