Carrot pumpkin soup with ginger and cilantro

carrot-pumpkin-cilantro-soup-cafe-liz

A while ago, while we were eating out at a restaurant that shall remain unnamed, we ordered a soup that was listed on the menu as carrot soup with ginger, cilantro, coconut and peanuts. What we got was carrots pureed with instant soup powder, topped with a token peanut and a cilantro leaf. This was disappointing not only because we’d paid 30-plus shekels for a bowl of baby food, but also because the combination of ingredients promised by the menu had sounded quite good. So I made my own.

pscoconutcreamI happened to use coconut cream powder instead of coconut cream, because I picked up a package to try out last week. Canned coconut cream is made from reconstituted coconut solids in any case, so I figured I’d cut down on packaging and weight, and just get the coconut solids myself. According to the package, it contains 50 grams of powder, equivalent to the milk of one coconut, and you add different amounts of water based on how heavy you want your coconut milk/cream to be.

This powder has an obvious advantage for cooking — this way, the coconut doesn’t affect the amount of liquid in the soup (or any other dish). The thickness of the soup is based directly on how much water you want to add.

For about 3 liters of very thick soup (or more, thinner soup):

1 kilo fresh pumpkin, peeled
2 large carrots
5-6 garlic cloves
1-2 onions (one big one, or two small)
1.5 liter water (at least)
1/4 c coconut cream powder (or about 1 cup coconut milk/cream)
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
3/4 c chopped cilantro
toasted peanuts for sprinkling
oil for frying
salt to taste

Chop the onions, and start frying them in a thick-bottomed pot with some oil (I use cheap olive oil). Add the carrots, chopped, and then the garlic. Chop the pumpkin into large chunks, toss into the pot, add the water, put on the lid and then boil until the pumpkin is soft.

Once the vegetables are cooked, blend the contents of the pot with a hand-held blender until smooth. Add the coconut, ginger and salt (I probably used about a tablespoon), and adjust to taste. Add more water as well, until the soup has a consistency you like.

Loosely chop the cilantro, and stir it in.

To serve, top each serving with a spoonful of chopped roasted peanuts, and a small sprig of cilantro.

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