Chai pumpkin soup
This is hands-down the best pumpkin soup I have ever made. I think I’ve well and truly nailed the ratios of each veggie here to yield a deliciously comforting bowl of goodness with just the right hint of spicy heat thanks to the chili. While it may look like a lot of ingredients at quick glance, it’s really quite simple. If you want minimal fuss though, you can use less of the other veggies and extra pumpkin. Chai tea imparts a beautiful aromatic flavour and saves time gathering up individual spices. I have been known to enjoy this comforting bowl of goodness morning, noon and night through the cooler months.
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
1.5 kilos Jap pumpkin, roughly chopped
4 small carrots, sliced
2 desiree potatoes and 1 sweet potato, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 small red chili (optional, if you like a bit of spice!)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced/crushed
2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tbsp of tamari or gluten free soy sauce
2 chai tea bags (I used the T Bar brand) or 4 tsp loose leaf chai
2 small apples or 1 large apple,, chopped (see note)
1L almond or coconut milk (I use Pure Harvest)
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.
Wash and prepare all veggies and apples. Leave the peel on everything, except for onions, and garlic., to boost nutrition properties.
Heat a generous splash olive oil in a large heavy-based pot, fry onion and celery for a few minutes until soft and golden. Next, add in vegetables and apples. Gently fry for a few more minutes, adding a dash more of oil or splash of water if the mixture begins to stick.
Add the nut milk, tomato, 2-4 cups water, garlic, cumin and tea. Pop the lid on and allow to gently boil for 30-45 minutes.
Once the vegetables are soft and begin to break apart, season according to taste with salt, pepper and tamari (optional).
Remove the tea bags/tea infuser and blitz until soft and smooth in a high-speed glass blender. You can also use an immersion blender though the consistency will be chunkier. If it is too runny, you can thicken up by adding in 2-3 tbsp ground flaxseeds and blending again.
To serve, sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), drizzle of olive oil and a few coriander leaves. I like to add a dollop of unsweetened coconut yoghurt for extra creamy lushness.
Note: you can use any apple variety for this recipe, I used pink ladies for a hint of natural sweetness. This will keep for up to 5 days in an air-tight container in the fridge and freezes well.