Spicy Pumpkin and Pear Soup…and a little sewing

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 thoughts on “Spicy Pumpkin and Pear Soup…and a little sewing

  1. 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 🙂

    1. 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 😉 )

      1. 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 😉

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

  2. 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 …

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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 🙂

    1. 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!

  5. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  6. 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. 😀 )

    1. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

    1. 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

  9. 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.

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