Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Curried Pumpkin Soup: Comfort Food, Revisited

Somehow, I've managed to feel overwhelmed already, and it's only January 5. It's less that I'm working a lot, and more that I'm working at worrying: about my upcoming conference presentation, about not spending enough time with Ian, about managing the four committees I'm on after-hours, about finding the energy to go to the 24 hour gym for which I'm paying membership (I did go regularly at 10pm before the holidays, but that is getting old ... and apparently, I'm tired and lazy).

One thing that I do to try to manage responsibilities at home a little better is cook meals in advance, and in large enough quantities so that we can eat at least twice from the same pot during the week. Not infrequently, I find myself stirring something on the stove at 11pm, in preparation for the next few days. To me, winter calls for comfort food: both because of the bone-chilling cold, and because the days are still long and dark. And for me, in January, comfort food means soup.

And so, last night, as I participated in a 9pm conference call on the marketing committee for my son's school, I was stirring a pot of this.

Doubtless, you've looked at the title of this post, and dismissed it already; you've eaten enough pumpkin. There was Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, and then the leftovers. The truth is, you'd never recognize the pumpkin here. Think of it more as a superfood soup that allows you to pretend you're keeping your New Years' resolutions to eat better (yes, I know, you snuck into the cabinet last night and found a chocolate bar ... don't worry, your secret is safe with me).

This soup whips up in under half an hour, is flexible enough to accommodate your tastes, feeds a small family, and is wonderful with a crusty bread. Go make yourself a pot of it right now, and chase away the January blues.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped (1/2 medium)
2 c. onion, chopped (1 large)
1 t. curry powder
1 15 oz. can pumpkin (or 1 3/4 c. fresh pumpkin pulp)
5 c. broth (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 c. crushed tomatoes with puree (you can also just blend half a tomato into mush; that works fine)
1 c. corn kernels (frozen is fine)
1/2 t. sage
grated cheddar for serving, or toasted pumpkin seeds, or plain Greek yogurt, or ...

Saute pepper and onion over medium head in a large pot until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add curry powder and saute for one minute. Add remaining ingredients through sage, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the flavors begin to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish as you wish!

This soup keeps and freezes well.
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