This soup is evocative of the Caribbean – colorful pumpkin, spicy ginger, and an unexpected twist: coconut milk.
[Note: Calabasa is known as pumpkin in the Caribbean but is really more of a squash. Deep yellow-orange flesh with a speckled dark green skin. Any pumpkin or squash can be used. May be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated – even better!]
Directions: Peel 2 ½ lb. pumpkin. Scrape out the seeds, cut in chunks. Place in Sport roasting pot. Do not add water.
In the second roasting pot, place 2 chopped carrots, 1 stalk celery chopped, 1 lg. chopped onion, 1 chopped green pepper, 1-2 T. grated fresh ginger, and a good pinch of crushed red pepper. (For the green pepper use the mild “Pimiento de Cocina”, long slender light green, if available).
Place both pots in the solar oven and cook for 1 ½ to 3 hours or until tender.
Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to blend.
In small batches, blend pumpkin along with liquid generated in the cooking, carrot/onion mixture, and 1 c. chopped tomatoes, canned or fresh. Blend until smooth.
Combine all in a large pot. If you prefer your soup thinner you can add vegetable broth at this point, up to 1 c. (but keep in mind you will be adding coconut milk before serving, and the soup should be relatively thick and hearty.)
Add ½ t. thyme (more if fresh), salt and pepper to taste.
Before serving, stir in 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk. Heat to serve.
Garnish with fresh parsley or fresh thyme. Great served with cheese sticks, bread sticks or seasoned toast.
This recipe is vegan/vegetarian – if made according to the above instructions. Carnivores may wish to stir in crumbled bacon after the blending stage.