Curried Pumpkin Soup: How To Make A Curry

November 18, 2010

I’m still on a soup kick! This one was inspired by the season. It’s a lot like the Curried Carrot Soup I wrote about, so I wanted to share with you how to make your own curry recipes.

The basic ingredients for a curry:

  • chopped onion
  • minced garlic or garlic paste
  • ginger root (fresh or paste)
  • olive oil (or ghee, or butter)

To start a curry, I saute the onion and garlic in oil until they are lightly browned. I cut off about a thumb size portion of the ginger root and pulse it in my food processor with a liquid ingredient from my recipe (usually oil or water). I add this after my onion has browned. Now I have a curry going!

To this you may wish to add any of the following spices:

  • salt
  • curry powder
  • red pepper
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon
  • coriander
  • cloves
  • cardamon
  • garam masala
  • turmeric
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • sweetener
  • …and more.

If you don’t know which spices to add I would start by imagining what you want your dish to taste like when it’s done. Then smell your spices, even taste them if you have to. Go ahead and add whatever vegetables or meat you want in your curry. Then experiment and taste as you go. Go easy on the ones you don’t know, and be more generous with the ones you do. Besides salt, red pepper, and sweetener, if I’m making an American or Indian flavored curry I usually start out with a lot of curry powder, a bit of cinnamon, and a touch of garam masala. I also keep garlic powder and more ginger handy in case these flavors need to be stronger.

Tip: Curry powder varies by brand so always use your own judgment when following a recipe. That being said, if using too much ruins your recipe, I would get a better curry powder.

Curried Pumpkin Soup:

  1. Make a curry, then puree it
  2. Add a large can of pure pumpkin (29oz)
  3. Add 2 cans of chicken broth and water until you reach your desired consistency
  4. Add 2 cups of heavy cream or half and half.  A can of coconut milk will work if you have milk allergies. A can of evaporated milk will work if you don’t keep fresh diary on hand.
  5. Add spices according to preference to make this your own recipe. Mine included salt, pepper, red pepper, sweetener, curry, coriander, cinnamon, garam masala, cloves, and nutmeg.
  6. Garnish with something green for presentation (parsley, basil, cilantro, spinach leaf, etc…). I used dill weed.

Now you know how to make a curried soup! You can use this to make a Creamy Curried Chicken Soup, Curried Sweet Potato Soup, Curried Tomato Soup, Curried Peanut Soup, Curried Lentils, Curried Butternut Squash, Curried Onion Soup, Curried Potatoes…I’m going to trail off here and let your imagination do the rest!

Happy Cooking!

For the purposes of this post, a curry had to be defined in a rather “English” sense of the word. There are many interpretations of a curry though. In India, for example, the word “Curry” refers to consistency, rather than flavor. I would love to hear your own interpretations in the comments!

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