It’s pumpkin season here in Australia, so that means lots of lovely warming soups, stews, and casseroles featuring everyone’s favourite large orange vegetables. These three recipes are winter warmers that take inspiration from around the globe: a beautiful French-inspired soup, a Mediterranean-infused side dish topped with cooling tzatziki and a totally addictive Afghan curry.
Afghan Pumpkin Curry (Bourani Kadoo)
This curry has one of the most delicious combinations of flavours you could ever imagine, yet it is actually fairly simple with not too many ingredients. It’s sweet and warming with a rich tomato sauce that is perfumed with ginger.
- 1/4 whole pumpkin: about 1kg
- 1 white onion, finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 cup/125ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp tumeric powder
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- To serve: yoghurt
Peel and cut the pumpkin into large chunks.
Heat a large pot with a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Fry the onion, garlic and ginger for a few minutes until soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients (except the yoghurt) and stir well.
Bring to a low boil, uncovered for 20 minutes to let some liquid evaporate, stirring occasionally.
Add the lid for the last 10 minutes.
Check to see if the pumpkin is tender and if so, turn off the heat and gently stir.
Serve with a big dollop of yoghurt and a scattering of salt, if desired.
Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup with Blue Cheese and Bacon
A lovely winter warmer soup that is rich, velvety, and finished with sharp blue cheese crumbles, crispy bacon and crunchy pumpkin seeds.
- 1/2 butternut squash, seeds reserved
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 5 strips of bacon
- Squeeze of lemon
- 100g/1/2 cup blue cheese
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 200c/375f.
Wash the seeds under some cold running water in a colander to separate the pulp. Dry on a paper towel and set in a small oven proof bowl. Lightly toss with olive oil and salt.
Cut the ends off of the bullb of garlic and set it inside the pumpkin well. Drizzle olive oil over the squash and the garlic and season well. Place the seeds into the oven too. Roast for 20 minutes or until the garlic is soft, then take out the garlic and the seeds. Continue roasting the squash for another 30 minutes or until soft through when pricked with a fork.
Take the squash out of the oven and place the bacon in the oven to crisp up, about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, scoop the flesh out of the skin and place in a blender.
Squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic out and place in the blender.
Heat the chicken stock and add that to the squash.
Add the squeeze of lemon and blend until smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Once crisp, drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble on top. Garnish with seeds and blue cheese crumbles.
Mediterranean Roasted Butternut Squash with Tzatziki
An exciting side-dish packed full of bold flavours and interesting textures that compliment each other perfectly. The Mediterranean flavours of this dish would go perfectly with lamb or chicken, or it would be just as delicious on its own, with some warm flatbreads.
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- olive oil
- squeeze of lemon
For the tzatziki
- 3/4 cup/185g yogurt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1/2 tsp salt
Heat oven to 180c/350f.
Cut the squash in half, take out the seeds and wash them to remove the pulp. Set aside
Take the skin off with a very sharp large knife or vegetable peeler. Cut the squash into cubes and place on a roasting tray. Coat lightly with olive oil.
Mix together the dry spices and salt and sprinkle about 1/4 of this mixture over the seeds. Lie them on a tray and place in the oven. Roast for 5-7 minutes until toasted and let cool while the squash roasts.
Spoon over the tomato paste and the rest of the spices. Mix together well.
Roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until soft and brown on the edges.
In the meantime, make the tzatziki: Cut the cucumber in half and take out the seeds. Grate the rest of the cucumber. Place in a clean tea towel or in your hands and squeeze out as much as possible of the water. Set this in a bowl.
Grate the garlic clove and add that to the cucumber.
Add the yoghurt, salt and chopped dill and stir.
To serve, spoon the tzatziki over the squash and top with the roasted seeds.