Friday, September 24, 2010

Pumpkin and Butter Bean Soup


20ml (1 tablespoon) oil
1 1/2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Pepper, to taste
750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
750g peeled, deseeded butternut pumpkin* cut into 2cm cubes
400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed (this should yield about 230g butter beans)


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a further three minutes or so, until onion has softened but not browned.

Add garlic, cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper to the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 50 seconds until spices are fragrant but garlic has not browned.

Add stock, pumpkin and beans to the saucepan.

Increase heat to high and bring mixture to the boil. Cover saucepan (have the steam vent on the lid open), and reduce heat so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until pumpkin is very soft.

Puree mixture with a stick blender until smooth, and then serve or store. Alternatively, set soup aside to cool for about 10 minutes, and then puree in a blender in batches. When pureeing hot soup in a blender, we have the blender no more than one third full. We leave the lid plug out, cover the hole in the lid with a few paper towels or a clean tea towel, and hold the lid down while pureeing. Reheat soup and serve, or store until required.

The soup can be reheated in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, or in the microwave.

Serve the soup in warm bowls with crusty bread.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. When freezing the soup, we freeze it in single-serve portions.

*Butternut pumpkin is also known as butternut squash.

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