Curry Pumpkin Soup
Note: This soup is really tasty and flavorful. It was the perfect first course for our Thanksgiving feast. Even the kids table liked it! Cook with the lid off until you reach a desired consistency. I'm not sure if I got the right canned pumpkin or not -- I don't think it was pie filling but I'm still not sure.
2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 (15-oz) cans solid-pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used Swanson Natural Goodness)
1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
8 fresh curry leaves
Cook onions in butter in a large, heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook an additional minute. Stir in cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook 1 minute. Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth, and coconut milk and bring mixture to a simmer with the lid off. Stir occasionally, cooking for 30-45 minutes, until you reach your desired consistency. Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth, transferring to a large bowl, then returning soup to pot. Keep soup warm over low heat.
Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop, about 15 seconds. Carefully, add curry leaves and cook 5 seconds, then pour mixture into pumpkin soup. Stir until combined well and season soup with salt.
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