Spicy pumpkin soup (& a magazine giveaway!)

You may remember a few months ago when I announced that I’d been asked to be a regular columnist in a new food magazine that was coming out this year.

Well, I’m finally proud to announce that my very first column has finally been published!

The Gourmet Kitchen
is available for purchase in all good newsagencies or online, but I’m also happy to announce that I have a free 1 year subscription to give away to any reader with an Australian address to this new quarterly magazine! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you’d like to see me write about, or what you’d even like to see in a new foodie mag! :)

The competition will run till the end of June, so you’ve got a little over a week to enter a comment to be in the running for it! But in the meantime, onto the post! :)

Winter is such a funny season. In a romantic’s world, it conjures images of crackling fireplaces, warm hearths, and snuggling under mountains of blankets in your lover’s embrace. As for myself, two words come to mind: cold and germs.

Mind you, our winters here in Australia aren’t really all that bad. I remember one winter overseas where I ventured outside into the blustery snow with a head of wet hair (I was running late and hadn’t had a chance to dry it after a shower), and the air was so cold that my hair actually froze.

That’s right.

Imagine running for a bus with a bunch of solid icicles jingling from your head. Not exactly the best example of a good time! Needless to say, I didn’t repeat that mistake.

Then, there are the germs.

When a particularly ill colleague, who appears to be struck down with some horrific plague, stumbles across to your desk, peers down at you with bleary eyes and nose rubbed so red that it would give Rudolph cause for envy, then hands you a document that you just know they’ve sneezed all over, coughs and smiles apologetically while saying “Sorry, I’m a bit crook”, it takes all your willpower not to go bug-eyed and splutter “GET YOUR FOUL GERM-RIDDEN BEING AWAY FROM ME BEFORE YOU ARE FORCIBLY CLEANSED BY THE POWER OF MY DETTOL!!”

Instead, social policy requires that you coo sounds of pity and gracefully accept said document from their hands, then try not to be too obvious as you race for the hand sanitiser and quash the urge to purify your entire being with a shower of the afore-mentioned antiseptic. Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but let’s be honest here — winter is not easy to survive.

In fact, one of the only consolations about the season of colds and bone-chilling winds is that it is also the season of hearty comfort foods. The sorts of foods that warm you through and through, filling you up and sending you happily to sleep after you’ve relished their embrace.

Winter brings with it satisfying soups, bubbling broths, comforting casseroles and sumptuous stews. Cooking takes a slower pace and instead of quick-fix salads, kitchens everywhere are filled with the sounds and smells of dishes slowly simmering away on the stovetop or baking away to golden perfection in the oven.

Soups, in particular, are my weakness. There’s something about a bowl of beautiful homemade soup that stirs the soul and sates the stomach like nothing else. Whether it’s brothy like a chicken and vegetable soup or something smoother like a creamy pumpkin soup, it warms you from the outside in till your extremities can no longer remember being assaulted by the chill.

The added bonus of soups, of course, is that they freeze incredibly well and are a cinch to reheat. I tend to accumulate little zip-lock bags full of various soups over the course of winter and when I come home late from work feeling all tired and grumpy, a hearty and satisfying meal is quick to be had without resorting to poached eggs on toast or takeout.

I’ve shared with you a fabulous recipe for a spicy Thai-style pumpkin soup that is just a little bit special. Standard pumpkin soup is definitely delicious, but if you’ve made it a few times and are thinking about trying something different, I hope you’ll give this a whirl!

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

1kg pumpkin (I like to use butternut or Kent)
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup light coconut milk
1 large onion, diced
1 Thai birds-eye chilli, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
1″ fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, then cut up the pumpkin into fat wedges. Place them on a lined baking tray, drizzle over a little olive oil, salt and cracked pepper.

2. Roast for 40-50 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the middle can push through the skin with no resistance.

3. Separate out the roasted pumpkin flesh from the skin and set aside, then prepare your onion, garlic, ginger and chilli.

4. Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli till the onion is translucent and softened, then add the roasted pumpkin flesh and coriander and stir through.

5. Add the stock and coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer over low heat for an hour to reduce the liquid by about half.

Once the liquid has reduced, blend it all together till completely smooth, then put it back in the pot (or just leave it all in the pot if you have one of those fabulous stick blenders) and stir through the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Now you can serve this as is, but you can also serve it with a dollop of natural yoghurt (or sour cream), as well as some spicy toasted pumpkin seeds and a few snipped chives.

And if you’re looking for a little cheesy goodness to serve this with, this recipe for cheese & chive scones goes down a real treat with this soup :)

This post and recipe are as originally printed in The Gourmet Kitchen, edition #2.


  1. Would love to see more tart recipes! In love with tarts now and would love to see more! (:

  2. I have two more pumpkins left from my garden – this is definitely motivated me to make soup with at least one of them and freeze for those cold summer days when I’m nostalgic for a warming soup. Love the fact that scones are the new “bread” with soups.

    Disappointed that people with a New Zealand Address are excluded – according to our respective prime ministers we are trans Tasman family! Looks like a really good magazine with a focus beyond the food itself to the kitchen in which you spend so many hours slaving!

    • I’m so jealous of your garden!! I took a look at your blog and it looks like you’ve got a fantastic growing space! :) And I also think that it’s great that savoury scones are now the fave for serving with soup!

  3. Danielle says:

    I would love a magazine dedicated to the family, for example kind of like food safari but in food form, where the family tells the stroy about the origin of that food, the cultures, traditions and then have a gorgoues recipes.
    Also, how to organise your kitchen, or the kitchen equipment you should never go without.

    How about spicy casserole, mmm im loving the winter food, the bum isnt, thats getting bigger but stews they are the best

  4. I would like to see diversity in cultures with a slant on healthy eating. I would also like a restaurant of the month with one of the chef’s recipes. And a section on kitchen equipment is a must. Also I would like a preview of a recipe book, also with a recipe from that book – as a recipe book collector its a must, because just one recipe gives me a preview as to what the book offer. Last of all, a section with links to the web which readers can contribute to.

  5. Beautiful scones, lovely looking pumpkin soup, fantastic bokeh!!! Love it, I keep forgetting that it’s fall time in AU now, I could really go for some cold pumpkin salad, if it wasn’t 34 today I would love to have hot soup too.

  6. I’d love to see more desserts done :)

  7. I suppose a fancy new magazine is not really the appropriate place to see more of your lovely doggy, as much as I love your posts!

    I’d really like to see more recipes/info that look at international cuisine beyond the Chinese/Italian/Indian/Thai rut that some magazines fall into.

    • LOL! Probably not, but I can run another Woofy Wednesday this week to show him off again 😉 I’ve actually been thinking about running a Korean recipe in the next column, I’ll see what I can do! :)

  8. mmmm spicy pumpkin soup… and I have lots of the ingredients in my garden.

    I loved your crackle pops. i’m going to make them for my little ones party (mostly for the adults she’s too young for that deliciousness). So I’ld love to see ideas for finger foods that keep well, especially coming up to the silly season at the end of the year.

  9. I enjoy finding out about the history of a dish, and about it’s cultural context.
    I also think we should have the option of squirting sick colleagues with antiseptic spray like we would spray a mugger with mace. There’s no difference between stealing a wallet or stealing a week of our health!

  10. Congrats on the article…thats awesome! I’m trying to practice more savoury cooking and as its winter, I’d like to see some hearty, stews and casseroles. I would also like to see more magazines do step-by-step pictures along with their recipes, like many blogs!

    Hope you get better reallly soon!

    • Thanks Dilani~! I’ve had a look through the current issue and there are some fabulous winter recipes in there so might be worthwhile picking up a copy 😉

  11. I was so happy to see your article mentioned on the front page! Congratulations! 😀

  12. I would love to see a feature article on Mother and Child, what influences your cooking, recipes handed me down etc
    what the dish meant to you, like an intro of you, your culture, your foods, your life, your kitchen.

  13. Nathaniel Stockley says:

    Hi Ellie,

    I’d love to see some Korean recipes featured, as I figure it’s about time this overlooked cuisine gets de-mystified.

    I adore Korean food, but I get the impression most folks have little or no idea what its all about.

    Come to think about it, I could do with a few recipes & tips myself !

    Figured you’d be well equipped to give Korean dishes some much needed publicity.


  14. I would love to see the ultimate dinner party recipes! I love being able to spoil my friends when they come over for dinner but I struggle to find really impresive recipes. Congrats on the new gig

  15. Ellie! Congratulations on the column!! I’m not eligible for the subscription – I just wanted to tell you how happy I am that your writing will be out there for even more people to enjoy. I look forward to every new recipe and story you have and I’m sure all your new readers will too. Yay! Congrats again! 😀

  16. Julie Kirkpatrick says:

    Congrats Ellie! Would love a section on seasonal fruit & veg with some recipes using this produce. Also an article on farmers markets (with when & where details) would be great! Look forward to picking up the first issue soon (fingers crossed my local news agency sells it)

  17. I’d love to see some vegetarian recipes that can be served alone but can also have a side order of steak or other such meat so that hubby can still feel like i have fed him a real meal. Apparently if it doesn’t have meat it isn’t a balanced meal.
    Congrats on the column!

  18. It would be great to see a really rich dessert or main with lashings of butter, made healthy. So something extremely naughty, given a diet basically :) my thigs would definitely thank you! lol

  19. Clarissa says:

    The new magazine looks lovely. I would like to see an article on how to create the ultimate high tea at home for friends. Good luck with your new venture.

  20. hi there!
    i alo love soups! i eat the mall year arround coz i just cant resist their creamy goodness or clear spring-like feeling :)
    i also made squash soup a short while ago, and used pretty much the same ingridients, BUT i didnt think of vineger which probably gives it a way better flavor and an interesting note! thanks for this- ill do it next time :)

    • Vinegar is a flavour enhancer along the lines of salt, so I tend to use a little when making soups or stews to boost the flavours! Give it a try :)

  21. Congrats on the gig with the new foodie mag. I’d love to see a column that features ingredients that are in season that can be quickly whipped up, looks/tastes great and preferably does not cost a heap!

  22. How about articles that demystify food? Was thinking of something akin to mythbusters, but with a food spin? That should pique the interest any foodie 😉

  23. I want to read and see the food that you love! Your all time favourite comfort foods, or your mum’s hand me down recipe! All these foods will reflect who you are to us readers :)

  24. Cheryl Blaisdell says:

    I made this recipe for dinner tonight- sooooo good! Thanks for the recipe!

  25. I would love to see a post where you take whatever it is that is sitting in your fridge or pantry and create a meal out of it. <3 Love your stuff!


  1. […] attentiveness but also may taste better), there are lots of recipes on the web. Here is one from Kitchen Wench (which is also attached to her own soup […]

  2. […] Spicy Pumpkin Soup from The Kitchen Wench […]

  3. […] Spicy Pumpkin Soup from The Kitchen Wench […]

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