Spicy Pumpkin and Pear Soup…and a little sewing

17 Oct

So, remember our pear tree? Yes, the one with an awful lot of pears on it. We’ve been really enjoying eating them in crumbles, purées, stewed but mainly au naturel and sometimes with cheese. Delicious. But they don’t store. I know, I tried it out. I spent ages wrapping a load up in newspaper and storing them somewhere cool and dark only to find a horrible, stinky mush a few days ago. Nasty.

Luckily we really did make the most of them and one of the dishes I made was a hearty soup using some of the crisper, under ripe pears left at the very end.

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Ingredients (serves 4 as a main course)

  • About 1kg of pumpkin or squash (peeled, seeded and cut into cubes)
  • 3 medium pears (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 1 level teaspoon of hot chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 tin (400g) coconut milk
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Smoked pimenton to serve

(Inspired by a recipe from the book Economy Gastronomy)

Heat the oil and add the pumpkin. Fry on a medium heat until it starts to colour a little (you may need to do this in batches) then add the spices and garlic. Cook for a minute then add the pear, coconut milk and stock. Simmer for about 30 minutes, blend to a texture you enjoy (I used a stick blender) season to taste and serve with a sprinkle of smoked pimenton.

For any of you who are wondering what the heck I’ve been up to in the absence of great cooking facilities (and apart from house renovations), I decided to set myself up with a little winter project. I am hand making a patchwork quilt, following (sort of) a design pattern.

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Am really enjoying making the quilt top but may back out of hand quilting it myself. We’ll see.  Perhaps next year I’ll be eating this soup snuggled under my quilt!


63 Responses to “Spicy Pumpkin and Pear Soup…and a little sewing”

  1. vegashungrygirl October 17, 2014 at 18:27 #

    That soup looks prefect for Fall 🙂 Good luck with your quilt I’m sure it will turn out beautiful !

  2. 76sanfermo October 17, 2014 at 19:00 #

    Mmmmm,that soup!
    And ..auguri per il quilt , li adoro!

  3. narf77 October 17, 2014 at 20:12 #

    Yumdiddleyumpcious recipe Ms Chica and perfect for vegan aficionados of both pumpkins and pears. I dehydrate extra fruit these days. That way I don’t find that sludgy mush. I am lazy and not a fan of cleaning up sludgy mush and as a vego, have had more than my fair share of it ;). The perfect description of Ms Chica…”I am hand making a patchwork quilt, following (sort of) a design pattern”. Following, but sort of just over to the left and doing my own thing, the reason why we all love you Ms Chica ;). Quilty warm futures full of pumpkin and pear possibilities but I bet that quilt ends up very different to the one in the book ;). Happy “P” filled possibilities Ms Chica and keep warm 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 17, 2014 at 22:11 #

      Sooo glad you liked this – and of course, it’s not only veggie but vegan too. I knew that, of course 😉 I’m a bit rubbish at following recipes, patterns or instructions (which is probably why I don’t make many cakes) so there are a lot of wonky lines and clashing colours, squares instead of rectangles and seams that have a life of their own. But hey, you follow the road your ruby slippered feet take you down! (And yes, I am currently wearing last year’s Christmas slippers which a pal gave me that are indeed a sock like version of Dorothy’s footwear 😉 )

      • narf77 October 18, 2014 at 08:31 #

        I really REALLY need to get some glasses or at least my eyes tested as I read that last line as “Val Doonican footwear!” You are like me. I just read patterns as I want to read them and often I end up with 3 arms. Not bad, per-se, if you grew an extra arm but a bit worrying if you give them to people and they look at you strangely. Ruby slippers are scrumptious. I have great big blue sock thingo’s that a friend gave me for my birthday this year that Earl lusts after with an indecent obsession. As soon as I put them on he is waiting near my feet to see if they might accidentally fall off. When I first got them I used to feel little tugs on my ankle and look down to see Earl trying to work out how to get them off my feet ;). I make cakes but I can’t guardsmen how they are going to turn out from one day to the next. You don’t get to see my failures on the blog 😉

      • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 09:54 #

        Val Doonican Footwear – hilarious!! Cake failures are entertaining for us to read about though 😉

      • narf77 October 19, 2014 at 20:45 #

        Not so much fun to be up to your armpits in though, especially when you have cake hungry guests and a burnt offering 😉

  4. Ginger October 17, 2014 at 21:27 #

    Love the soup – and good luck with the patchwork! I’d love to be able to make something as beautiful as that, but unfortunately I tend to loose interest after about ten minutes …

    • Chica Andaluza October 17, 2014 at 22:07 #

      I am thoroughly impatient with many things (mostly people who are dithering!) but have huge patience for things like this!

      • Ginger October 17, 2014 at 22:09 #

        Good on you! Enjoy and don’t forget to update us 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza October 17, 2014 at 22:11 #

        Will do – thank you Ginger!

  5. Mad Dog October 17, 2014 at 21:49 #

    That sounds like a good soup for bonfire night. I noticed you live near Lewes, famed for bonfires and fireworks. Their celebration is almost like a Spanish fiesta and definitely something to take Big Man to see:

    • Chica Andaluza October 17, 2014 at 22:06 #

      One of my best pals lives in the centre of Lewes and she says it’s like The Blitz the night of the bonfires! Tomorrow we’re going to the Hastings Bonfire Night http://www.hbbs.info/
      – smaller than the Lewes one but very impressive nonetheless. We’ve been to it for the last two years and have found a good spot to watch the big bonfire and firework display at the end. I wised up last year and took a flask of mulled wine! But you’re right, the whole thing reminds me of Fallas in Valencia.

      • Mad Dog October 17, 2014 at 22:17 #

        Hastings looks very good too! I’ve never been to Lewes, but it reminds me of the Correfoc in Barcelona, which is amazing. There are a few wild fiestas here like Spain — all are old and traditional, which makes me think we must have had a lot more, which have sadly died out.

      • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 09:52 #

        I agree – some of the village traditions and celebrations are amazing in England! The fireworks were great last night. They had some I’ve never seen before that were set off from the sea (from within the water) really incredible!

      • Mad Dog October 19, 2014 at 10:39 #

        Wow – that sounds amazing 🙂

  6. Michelle October 18, 2014 at 03:08 #

    Ah, pears! That’s just what I needed (but didn’t have) when I was recently making my way through a giant pumpkin.

  7. Bagio October 18, 2014 at 03:46 #

    heemmmm… like it alot….t

  8. TheDorsetFinca October 18, 2014 at 08:30 #

    The soup looks so warming and good luck with the quilt! Can’t wait to see the finished result! 🙂

    • Food,Photography & France October 18, 2014 at 08:44 #

      Very nice soup idea…I get stuck in the same old recipes and it’s nice to see something that grabs me. There’s butternut squash and pears in the kitchen right now so ……:)

      • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 09:54 #

        Hope you enjoy it if you make a version of it!

    • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 09:53 #

      It was a lovely soup and the quilt is coming on slowly but surely!

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime October 18, 2014 at 15:24 #

    I would never have thought to put pears into a soup. Dave might protest if I made this though as he likes neither pumpkin or pears ha ha. Well done on starting such an amazing sewing project 🙂

  10. A Famished Foodie October 18, 2014 at 16:37 #

    Pears in soup is something I’ve never heard of- and I would have never thought of pairing it with pumpkin- how innovative!

  11. Amanda October 18, 2014 at 23:36 #

    Wow your soup looks delicious and your quilt design looks beautiful. You really can’t help but create. I love that. I’m so glad you found good use for all those pears. Just lovely.

    • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 09:56 #

      I am really enjoying the quilt making – it’s sort of portable and can be done in bite sized chunks!

  12. trixpin October 19, 2014 at 01:57 #

    What a shame about your stored pears. That’s happened to me with squash – what are we doing wrong?!
    I’m glad you managed to use a lot of them though – this soup looks very delicious and quite unique. And you’re doing a patchwork quilt? Wow! I’m impressed 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 10:13 #

      It was a shame as they were undamaged and slightly under ripe. I wrapped them in newspaper and stored them in a crate in a cool dark place L I have a load of apples too and they seem to be fine!

  13. Margot @ Gather and Graze October 19, 2014 at 11:49 #

    Hi Tanya, is it possible that storing the pears in the newspaper actually hastened their ripening? A bit like when you place fruit in a paper bag to ripen it? Just a thought… maybe better without the paper?
    I love the idea of adding pear into this soup… such beautiful aromatics and fruity flavour!
    All the best with your hand-made quilt – a lovely thing to while away the hours through the winter time!

    • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 14:59 #

      I think you might be right about the newspaper. They certainly ripened really quickly. next year I’ll do a bit of research about the best way to store them! Will post some photos of the quilt as it progresses 🙂

  14. ChgoJohn October 19, 2014 at 17:02 #

    What a great sounding soup, Tanya, and perfect way to celebrate Fall. The market yesterday had almost as many pears as they had apples. Next weekend, I think I’ll pick up a few pears. There’s a soup in my future.
    (Pssst … the cajoling worked. I’ll be entertaining a Special Visitor in May. 😀 )

    • ChgoJohn October 19, 2014 at 17:04 #

      Sorry, I neglected to mention your quilting. I have to give you credit. I just don’t have the patience for that kind of work. I don’t have the skill, either, though I am pretty good at sticking myself with a sewing needle. With that, I’m a pro.

      • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 17:51 #

        Ah thanks John J I hate using a thimble so I have quite a few punctured fingers too!

    • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 17:51 #

      Ooh how exciting – Spring with a Special Visitor J Am looking forward to it already!

  15. restlessjo October 19, 2014 at 17:14 #

    That quilt will be gorgeous! And the soup sounds interesting, Tanya 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 19, 2014 at 17:52 #

      The quilting is a good long term project and the soup was a fun and tasty experiment!

  16. milkandbun October 19, 2014 at 18:15 #

    I Love soups! Making pumpkin cream soup pretty often, but never tried with pears. Im adding usually an apple. 🙂

  17. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial October 19, 2014 at 22:18 #

    Ooh quilting. God bless you. I used to sew fanatically, but I never had the patience for quilting! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 20, 2014 at 18:00 #

      I am usually a hugely impatient person (generally with other people) but for tasks like this I have infinite patience – I’m an odd woman!

  18. spicegirlfla October 20, 2014 at 01:44 #

    Pear and pumpkin…fabulous idea!! I don’t have a pear tree but my market is bursting full of pears! I mentioned to you once long ago, that I used to sew a lot…then life took over and never got the time. But reading about your new project just sparked a great interest in me! I probably still can’t find the time, but I so love the idea. Please keep us posted on your progress!

    • Chica Andaluza October 20, 2014 at 17:58 #

      Linda the good think about patchwork is that you can just to a little at a time (especially if you’re hand sewing) and it’s portable to a certain extent!

  19. PendleStitches October 23, 2014 at 11:52 #

    The beauty of hand sewn quilts is it really doesn’t matter in the slightest if they are a bit wonky because a) they are still very, very beautiful, b) they are still very, very warm, and c) everyone who can’t thread a needle still thinks you are very, very talented! it’s a win all round. And I promise you that hand quilting is the best bit of it. Yes it take an age, but it’s soooooo soothing and rewarding that you frankly don’t care. Especially when you have marvellous soup to fortify you through the process.

    • Chica Andaluza October 26, 2014 at 08:21 #

      Ah, thanks for the lovely words and the motivation. I am creeping towards the thought that after putting so much work into making the quilt top by hand, why would I want it finished by machine, and by someone else? Even if it takes longer to finish, I’m not in a rush – hopefully this will be something that we can enjoy for many years to come J

  20. Karen October 26, 2014 at 22:14 #

    Your an amazing lady…how you find the time for all you do. The soup sounds terrific!

    • Chica Andaluza October 28, 2014 at 16:12 #

      Ah, thank you Karen – I do things that make me happy!

  21. Promenade Claire November 6, 2014 at 22:56 #

    Yoo hoo! C’set moi!
    Now you have gone and posted a combination that I now NEED to try out. The windowsills are full of pumpkins….. we should have done a swap 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza November 7, 2014 at 20:45 #

      Well hello – how are you? Must have a catch up – lots of news J

  22. Burhan April 20, 2015 at 03:39 #

    Soup that needs to be enjoyed, at the time a family holiday

  23. Saiful Bahri September 25, 2015 at 01:43 #

    This is a recipe that is very unusual. I just found out that pears can to make soup. I assume this is something new and exciting for me . because normally I only make a pear for fruit or salad but was able to make the soup. I became very curious to try it. Mrs. This chica dalah true chef.

    • Chica Andaluza September 25, 2015 at 09:58 #

      It’s an unusual use for the fruit, but it worked well!


  1. Patchwork Progress | Chica Andaluza - November 13, 2014

    […] some of you know that I am a crafty Chica (of the creative rather than sly kind) when I’m not cooking or renovating. My latest project […]

  2. No cooking…but some patchworking and quilting | Chica Andaluza - January 11, 2015

    […] details of the quilt pattern and fabric, take a look here and […]

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