March is going towards the end and, there’s still no trace of mild weather. Here in London we’ve just gone through the second wave of “The Beast from the East” and, it seems also in Italy, the sun has brought cold temperatures once again. I’ve decided then to make the last (hopefully) winter recipe to say goodbye to the jolly season and welcome the Spring.

This dish is enclosed in my favorite comfy food list and, for once, it doesn’t belong to Italian traditions although it’s something I’ve learned working in this Country. It has been revisited by myself to adapt it to my personal taste and, it is so good to me that it has entered into my family traditions.

The first thing worth mentioning is that is a scrumptious soup which I believe is fundamental for withstanding the coldest temperatures but, is not least the importance of the benefits that this dish provides to your body. Indeed, thanks to ingredients such as Turmeric and Ginger, your health would be strengthened and reduce the chances to catch illnesses. The genuineness of this recipe consists also in the fact that is Vegan, which gives an extra reason to be eaten and makes it even healthier.

Serves: 2 people

Ingredients

  • ¼ of Season Pumpkin or a Whole Squash
  • Coconut Milk (dairy-free)
  • 1 Medium White Onion
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 inch of Ginger (it’ll be spicy, so reduce the amount If fancy a milder taste)
  • 1 tsp of Turmeric
  • ½ tsp of Curry Mix
  • A twig of Rosemary, Thyme and Sage
  • Salt and Black Pepper just enough
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO)

Method

  1. Put the EVO in a medium non-stick pot over a medium heat, fry the garlic and the chopped onions until softened.
  2. Add the pumpkin previously peeled and grossly cut into cubes. Wait it gets some color then add all the ingredients left beside the coconut. Give it a good stir and pour the coconut drink up to cover the pumpkin with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper and, with the lid on, leave it until fully cooked, namely when it softened (fork test).
  3. Turn the heat off, remove all the sprigs and blend them all to gather a smooth texture (tip: it’s important to remove the twigs because if blended they will give a bitter taste to the soup).
  4. Serve hot topping with some EVO and herbs. My favorite version is with creamy coconut milk, pomegranate and chopped coriander, but is also good with just some EVO to fully appreciate the taste of the pumpkin combined with the ginger and coconut.

 

P.S. If you aren’t vegan and fancy to add a meaty flavor to this recipe, serve it with creamy goat cheese and/or crispy Italian ham or black forest ham which will give an interesting smoky scent.

There are several ways this dish can be topped with, but those listed above are my favorite versions. My recommendation is to keep it as simple as possible. A topping is meant to enhance the taste of the dish, not to cover it up.

 

Did you know that…..?

  • The word “pumpkin” showed up for the first time in the fairy of Cinderella. A French explorer in 1584 first called them “gros melons,” which translates into Latin as “pepon,” which means large melon. It wasn’t until the 17th century that they were first referred to as pumpkins.
  • Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antartica, which makes quite a bit of sense considering, oh you know, Antartica is a 24-7 icy tundra.
  • Pumpkins are technically a fruit. More specifically, they are a winter squash in the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes cucumbers and melons. But because they’re savory, many people just call them vegetables anyway.
  • Ginger is among the healthiest spices on the planet.
  • Ginger has many health benefits, some including anti-inflammatory properties, blood sugar regulation, and gastrointestinal relief.
  • For bites of King Cobra, turmeric is the natural antivenin. This has been found by  Aston University’s Dr. Eric Lattman.
  • Make turmeric paste and apply on some areas of your body on a regular basis and you will get rid of the unwanted hair. That’s a traditional method that has been used by Indian women for ages.
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