May 16, 2011

Pumpkin and silver beet soup

Winter is here folks!

Maybe I have been in Sydney long enough to become acclimatised because last week I was cold. The wind was blowing in from the ocean and slapping us all in the face. I don't remember it feeling so cold this time last year, however, I may have turned into a wimp? (and I know all you Midwesterners are laughing at our 60 degree winters and thinking- toughen up!).

Shopping when I'm cold always makes me head right for seasonal produce. It's not raspberries or lettuce I want to see when cold, it's pumpkin (squash), potatoes and eggplant. Silver beet is also a vibrant and rich green standing out in the veggie isle saying- take me!
The problem with buying a bunch of silver beet for me is, I need to cook about 2-3 meals with it to use the whole bunch. Nic likes it but as he reminds me "I'm just not as passionate about it as you".  What I'm trying to say is, if I served it three times a week, I think I'd have a family strike on my hands (and just so you know, both boys swear they hate the stuff!).

I wasn't planning on putting silver beet in my soup, I started out with a straight forward pumpkin soup- every one's favourite. But as I started peeling the pumpkin and chopping the vegetables I wondered if maybe I could sneak a bit in the soup.....I'd just tell everyone is was a herb if they asked.
As I was sauteing the silver beet I spotted a big, fat super red tomato on the counter that looked like it was about to burst (or go mouldy) if I didn't use it very soon, so I decided to pop that in the soup too. With the addition of turmeric and coriander I think I was going for a bit of an Indian feel so I grabbed the mint and yogurt naan bread from the cupboard and served that up for lunch also.

The soup was smelling fabulous and thank god because we were all starving (and maybe a little cold).
Once the soup was blended it was a lot darker than I assumed and thought I wouldn't get away with calling it 'just' pumpkin soup.
I was right, we sat down for lunch and both Max and Alex asked what it was, I stated it was pumpkin soup and they said "yeah...and what else??" tomato sprang to mind.....and herbs :).

With one taste and then another, I was happy to hear it was a massive hit. Alex asked me if I'd make it again and Max had two helpings....I even told them at the end that there was silver beet in it. For me the truth always has to come out.
 I want them to understand that vegetables they think they hate, can actually taste really yummy when mixed with other things. I think I will call this another victory for me and vegetable soups!

Pumpkin and silver beet soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
3 stems silver beet
1/2 butter nut pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 lt chicken stock
1 large beef tomato
2 teaspoons salt

Peel and de seed pumpkin then cut into medium dice and leave to one side until needed.
In a large pot add oil and warm until it runs along the bottom of the pot (1-2 minutes).
Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic cloves, shredded silver beet and saute for a further 5 minutes or until leaves have wilted.
Add cubed pumpkin pieces, turmeric and coriander and keep cooking until the pumpkin is well coated.
Add stock and roughly diced tomato. Bring to a boil, add salt then turn the temperature back to a simmer and for for approx 25 minutes.
Once pumpkin is soft, remove from the stove top and put soup through the blender, mixer or stick blender and process until smooth.
Garnish with chili flakes or do as I did and add a dollop of lime pickle.


Bryan said...

Sounds Wonderful! I love pumpkin soup, great win with the vegetables. I don't always talk about what ingredients are in a dish sometimes it is just traumatic.

TKW said...

What's a silver beet? Is that a dumb question?

Camilla Baker said...

I hear you Bryan...

TKW silverbeet is a cross between spinach and kale....

Susie said...

I thought that must be a typo...winter is here and then I remembered my friend is down under. I turned on the AC today, here we go to the extreme opposite! Soup looks great!