Day 1: Spicy Moroccan pumpkin soup

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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

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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.

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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!

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