I've been on a sweet overload lately. We picked up ten pounds of candy for our Halloween party and I single-handedly must have already downed half of it. So when it came to making a grilled pumpkin soup last week, I avoided a sweet approach and spiced it up with curry powder, ginger, mustard, cumin, and cayenne instead.
I couldn't have asked for better results. The soup had a perfect balance of flavors. A little sweetness to pumpkin was cut with the curry, which was discernible, but in no way overpowering. The cayenne and black pepper added some kick, leaving the slightest burn on the tongue after the rest of the flavors made their way through.
Of course, once I finish a bowl, then a second helping, it was straight back to the candy bowl for me.
- 2 medium sugar pumpkins, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped medium
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Brush exposed flesh of pumpkin with melted butter, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin halves over cool side of grill, cover, and cook at medium heat until paring knife can be inserted in middle of pumpkin with no resistance, about 45-60 minutes. Remove pumpkin from grill and let sit until cool enough to handle. Scoop out flesh of pumpkin halves into bowl and discard skin, you should have about 4 cups of pumpkin.
Heat olive oil in large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ginger, curry powder, mustard seeds, cumin, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to Dutch oven over medium heat and stir in heavy cream. Cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, top with the cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
Type of fire: two-zone indirect
Grill heat: medium