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Coconut Curry Ginger Pumpkin Soup

I have a coworker named Kelly who inspired this one. She was talking about her Vitamix and how she makes soups with it. Which made me think of something different to do with all the pumpkin puree I’d been freezing. Yeah… since it’s Autumn I’ve been baking 3 or 4 pumpkins every weekend and enjoying both the smell and the flavors of Ohio. Kind of a kitchen nut that way I suppose.


It’s been one of those months where I realized I’m getting used to being surprised by all the brilliant and creative people I work with. At the end of a first year in Ohio after a relocation from Texas, looking back, it’s been this great technical and personal awakening. Challenging yes, but made me quantify all that I’d learned about business and development in Texas… and, in a way, reminded me about change and how to manage it on every level.

Leading into Thanksgiving, it’d be a perfect soup before the turkey and cranberry sauce with a crisp Gewurztraminer. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Vitamix you can certainly do this with a humble blender or food processor.


  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 (15-oz) cans solid-pack pumpkin (3 1/2 cups; not pie filling — preferably fresh if you have the time for it)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (12 fl oz)
  • 1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 8 fresh curry leaves


  1. Cook onions in butter in a wide 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. Add cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  4. Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth, and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
  5. Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl, and return soup to pot.
  6. Keep soup warm over low heat.
  7. Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop, about 15 seconds.
  8. Add curry leaves and cook 5 seconds, then pour mixture into pumpkin soup.
  9. Stir until combined well and season soup with salt.
  10. Soup can be thinned with additional water.


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