Sunday, 30 October 2011

Rocket and Roses Fresh Pumpkin and Black Turtle Bean Soup

Kitchen Play List: Colbie Cailat ~ Fallin' For You
                                     Vivian Green ~ Love For Sale
                                     Simply Red ~ Perfect Love
                                     Duffy ~ Stepping Stone
                                     Evanescence ~ Taking Over Me
                                     Shelby Lynne ~ How Can I Be Sure
Pumpkin season is upon us and I love it. Each year I try and find different ways of using the bright orange lovelies. I lol..with fondness a Halloween dinner party in which we all dressed up and I thought it would be a great idea to have pumpkin in every course. I did manage it but I was so over pumpkin by the end of the evening. And the remaining extra large pumpkin sat in my kitchen, I gave away as the prize for the best costume of the night. It was a full year before I could entertain pumpkin after that It was also the night my sister gave birth to my nephew M..a much better way to remember the evening with the bottle of champagne popping, when we got the call to say she and the little one were both safe and well. He will be five on Saturday..where does the time go? lol. 

This week I gave myself the challenge to come up with a new pumpkin soup recipe. Every year I will search online for new soup recipes but get so frustrated with the 'tinned/canned' pumpkin in most of the recipes I find. I have nothing against tinned pumpkin personally as longs as it's not chock full of preservatives. My preference is to use fresh pumpkins as it is with all veggies. The main issue is in the UK until recently finding the tinned variety was impossible. However three weeks ago whilst having a stroll around a quite expensive supermarket (I go to Oooh and Ahhhhh at the wonderful ingredients they stock and to pick up stock cupboard essentials that I can only buy from there!) I found some tinned pumpkin..."Great!" I good to have a couple of tins in my stock cupboard..only to recoil in shock at the price. For 1 14oz tin of pumpkin puree I would be charged...£3.00!! way. We seriously need a Wholefood and Trader Joes chain here in England. 

So, armed with a ratty, ripped out of a notepad, piece of paper with the beginnings of a Pumpkin soup recipe that I had started about 15 years ago!?! lol I shut myself into the kitchen and this is the results. I had a 500g bag of Black Turtle Beans that I had bought from the reduced bin of our local supermarket so I put then in soak overnight, boiled them in fresh water for 10 minutes and then covered and simmered for 45 minutes. Drained and rinsed them ready to use in the soup. Cooked weight they came to 2lb 6oz. So I used the 2lb in the soup and reserved the 6oz to make up some hummus later. 

My ratty bit of paper really only had three ingredients written on it...leeks, potatoes and pumpkin?? So the paper went into the bin and I got started. And it really was an easy soup to make and I am very happy with it. Good job because we had to eat it for lunch all last week. lol. 

Rocket and Roses Fresh Pumpkin and Black Turtle Bean Soup
Rocket and Roses Fresh Pumpkin & Black Turtle Bean Soup Makes 10 large servings
(Recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

2 tbsp Healthy Rotina Cooking Oil or oil of your choice
3lb fresh pumpkin, peeled and chunked
4 med-large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large leeks, trimmed and sliced
2 tbsp garam masala 
1 heaped tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp preground black pepper
salt to season to taste
4 pints of veggie stock 

2lb of cooked Black Turtle Beans or 2 14oz tins of black beans, rinsed and drained

Using a large curry or stock pan heat the oil and then add the prepped pumpkin, potato and leeks and stir well and often to avoid the potato and pumpkin sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the veggies are beginning to soften. Then sprinkle in the garam masala, tumeric and black pepper and stir well to coat all the veggies until the spices release their fragrances. Add the veggie stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the potato is cooked. Using a hand blender or regular blender and blitz until smooth and silky. Pour the soup back into the pan and add the beans and re-heat until the beans are cooked through. Serve...

First pumpkin of the season!
I would love to say that this lovely specimen is from My Love's gardens...technically that would be true but we couldn't take the credit for growing this lovely pumpkin. My kid brother G had a small allotment before he moved away and when his pumpkins were ready to be harvested they took up residence in one of My Love's greenhouses. (And..yes..G we took the smallest one! ;o) lol) So BIG THANKS go out to G for growing sure a great crop of pumpkins and letting us have one as our first pumpkin of the season! *hugs* ~R~ 

Update: G came for brunch/lunch and had a bowl of my soup and decided he liked it so much he asked me to cook him a batch for his freezer. l would call that a And now I have three more pumpkins from his crop to create with..Bonus! lol ~R~