An elegant soup that soothes and comforts beyond measure. I eat this with toasted, buttered sourdough bread.
pumpkin or butternut squash 1kg, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
onion 1 medium, finely chopped
carrot 1 medium, finely chopped
celery 1 stick, finely chopped
potato 1 medium, finely chopped
cumin seeds ½ tsp
green cardamom pods seeds from 5, crushed
root ginger 4cm piece, peeled and finely grated
garlic 2 fat cloves, crushed
vegetable stock 500ml
coconut milk 1 x 400g tin (reserve 4 tablespoons for garnish)
salt and white pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 6.
Place the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until just cooked .
Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and potato and stir well.
Place a lid on the pan so the vegetables can sweat.
Toast the cumin and cardamom seeds by placing them in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a minute or so until their aromas are released, then grind the spices in a mortar and pestle, and add them to the onions with the ginger and garlic.
Stir well and fry for a few minutes.
Add the stock, the tin of coconut milk – reserving 4 tablespoons – and ½ teaspoon of white pepper. Cover and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
When the roast pumpkin or squash is ready, add it to the rest of the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes. Then take the soup off the heat and blend it in a food processor or with a stick blender. Taste to adjust the seasoning; depending on the amount of salt in your vegetable bouillon, you may want to add a little more at this stage, or a touch more white pepper.
To serve, ladle into warmed bowls and swirl 1 tablespoon of coconut milk into each.
From Ripe Figs by Yasmin Khan (Bloomsbury, £26)