Day 1: Spicy Moroccan pumpkin soup


Day 1 of the food the food challenge and I chose soup.  A twist on the classic Aussie favourite winter warmer.

The recipe:

  • 60ml olive oil
  • 2 tbs ground cumin
  • 2 tbs ground coriander seed
  • 1 to 1/2 Litre of stock (chicken or veg)
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped (keep seeds if you like a good kick)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 45g / 5cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1.5kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 70g yellow split peas (uncooked)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 60g of cooking cream (optional)
  • Coriander sprigs to serve


The how to:

Stating the obvious but prepare everything before starting to cook.  This may take longer than you think…

Pick a big saucepan (around 6L) and pour in the oil.  Heat it on low-medium heat:

  1. cook for 3 minutes the leek and garlic, stirring occasionally. Then:
  2. add ginger, chilli, cinnamon, ground coriander and cumin and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Finally chuck in the carrots, pumpkin and split peas. Mix it around in the mixture.

Pour the stock over the mix.  If you like your soup thicker, use 1L otherwise 1 1/2 L stock.  Leave it  to cook on low heat (simmer not boil) for up to 50 minutes.  Keep an eye on the split-peas to ensure they are fully cooked.


Once ready, remove the soup from hotplate, mix in the lemon juice, remove and discard cinnamon stick. Add lemon juice then puree the soup in a food processor. If you don’t like it entirely smooth, keep a bit back in the saucepan  From the processor, pour the soup back into the saucepan and turn the heat back onto medium.   Add the cream and extra salt/pepper to taste.

Serve topped with coriander sprigs and with a some crusty fresh bread!