Mushroom & Pumpkin Soup

Winter is almost upon us yet again, which means soup season has officially started! Nothing is more comforting then a piping hot bowl of soup that is hearty, flavourful and nutritious enough to fight against the bitter cold, or in many cases, to treat one. Pumpkin is one of those versatile in-season ingredients that is sure to please any palate. This recipe combines the delicate sweetness of pumpkin, with the earthiness of mushroom and the creamy indulgence of coconut milk. Try it today as an elegant appetizer for a dinner or party or even just to treat yourself to something delicious!

Ingredients

2 tbsp (30 mL)   Vegetable oil, divided
2 pcs     Onions, diced
3 cloves    Garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL)   Ginger, minced
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) Cumin, ground
1 tsp (5 mL)     Paprika, ground
1/2 tsp (2 mL)   Salt, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL)   Black pepper
2 cup (500 mL)   Mushroom broth
1 cup (250 mL)   Pumpkin Puree
1.5 cup (375 mL) Chickpeas, canned
1 cup (250 mL)   Coconut milk
1 tbsp (15 mL)   Soy sauce, light
1 pc    Bay leaf

Garnish

4 pcs   Oyster mushrooms, cut 1/4 inch thick on a bias and scored
One bunch Coriander, fresh, chopped

Instructions

1. Over medium-high heat in a large pot, warm vegetable oil, 30 seconds. Add in onions and saute until soft and translucent, approximately 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.

2. Once mixture is fragrant, add in cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper. Next, pour in mushroom broth, pumpkin puree, chickpeas, coconut milk, soy sauce and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring up to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, approximately 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and saute oyster mushrooms over medium high heat until golden brown and tender, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt to season. Set aside for garnish.

4. Once soup is ready to be pureed remove and discard bay leaf. Using a hand mixer or food processor, puree until smooth also ensuring that desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasoning if needed.

5. Garnish generously with sautéed oyster mushrooms and chopped cilantro.

6. Enjoy.

Recipe by Leanne Soochan