I thought I'd be making muffins today, but my housemate Maty and I came across a great big squash in the market this morning, as well as fresh ginger root and a few other goodies, so her suggestion of soup when we got home seemed a good one.
Pumpkin Coconut soup was a favorite during Urban Spring days, so I worked off that recipe to come up with a very satisfying twist. I used local honey from Maridi --
and a couple green chilis to fill out and balance. The results were most pleasing...
Squash Ginger Soup – Sudan Style
½ medium pumpkin (this one was green with a very meaty flesh like kobocha but not as sweet)
4 small red onions (note these onions are not like the red onions I'm used to in Brooklyn - I cried a river! And it wasn't MJ or Iran pulling the tears this time)
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
5 medium cloves garlic
½ cup coconut flakes
3 bay leaves
3 pieces cinnamon bark
2 small chili peppers
2 Tbs local honey
Juice of 4 golf ball size limes
Pinch curry powder
Salt, pepper & olive oil
Pierce whole pumpkin around crown and bottom, place on baking sheet and bake for about 1 ½ hours at 375 F. Turn pumpkin after 45 min.
As pumpkin is baking, sauté sliced onions and garlic in olive oil, adding peeled and minced ginger after browning. Add salt, pepper, curry, cinnamon, and bay leaves and continue to sauté for 10 min, covered. Add ½ liter water to make a make a stock-like base.
Separately, boil 2 cups water, and add coconut flakes. Boil for 10 min to soften, then blend on its own to a milk. It won't be too milky - so if you prefer, use a can of coconut milk instead, which would work great, probably even better. I'm trying to reduce additives and preservatives as much as possible, and canned coconut milk here has some strange stuff in it, so I went with the dried coconut.
Remove bay leaves and cinnamon bark from stock, add coconut milk, and keep simmering. When a knife slides in the pumpkin easily, halve it, clean seeds, and scoop ½ out and place in the stock. Add about 750 ml water to the soup and simmer for 15 more minutes.
Blend soup, adding minced chilies, squeezed lime, honey, salt, pepper and oil to taste.
Serve with lime wedges and Ryvita seeded crackers.
(For a really nice treat, a square of dark chocolate with chili follows very nicely).