Last weekend we were invited to friends' in Abu Dhabi who have made it a tradition to gather the same families year after year for their annual Thanksgiving dinner which serves us as a reminder to count our blessings.
The dinner, cooked by the men in the family, was delicious, with probably about a dozen side dishes and the most succulent, tender turkey. Lots of pies to finish it off, lots of laughter and there might have been a couple of dances or two :)
This put me quite in the mood for comfort food. And nothing says comfort food to me like the brightly coloured vegetables that autumn brings: parsnips, sweet potatoes, and ... pumpkin!
Unfortunately my children detest (or think they do!) any food that resembles any shade of orange with the exception of mandarines and raw baby carrots. So, like a lot of parents, we need to get creative. Some time ago I had the most beautiful pumpkin soup with coconut milk, quite a spicy one as it had a fair amount of chilli flakes as well as a medley of other spices. So I devised this for the kids with much milder spices, which they now love partly because of the coconut milk:
- 1 medium butternut squash, diced into large chunks
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 small tin (200ml) coconut milk
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- Roast the squash in a preheated oven at about 175C for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a pot with the melted butter, at very low heat for as long as possible without burning it - adding little amounts of water if needed. If you are patient, the near broken down golden onion will add lots of sweetness to the dish.
- Turn the heat up and add the coriander powder and cook for about a minute or two, stirring.
- Add the roasted squash, stock and coconut milk, and just before it starts to boil, turn the heat off.
- Once it has cooled down a little, blend in a blender and serve. Add warm water if consistency is too thick for your liking.
- If you want to make it look pretty, add a swirl of coconut milk and a sprig of fresh coriander.
- For the adult version, add salt and pepper and a sprinkle of crushed chillies for a little bite.
So voila, now enjoy!
Image credit: Sweet Pea Spices