Cranberry Coconut Pumpkin Bisque

January 28, 2010

It’s rare that I repeat a recipe more than once. Unless it’s really, really good. Or a staple. I mean, there are so so many out there to try with so little time. You have to pick and choose. That being said, I’ve made this pumpkin soup TWICE within the past month, so that’s saying a lot. The inspiration for this recipe came from studying for finals in a coffee shop/cafe one day a few months back, as it was available on their board as “the soup of the day”. It sounded way too enticing to pass up (me and my pumpkin obsession), so of course I had to try it. I typically don’t really go for pureed soups very often. I like to have something to chew on in a soup. Not down for baby food. But I do love a nice bowl of curried butternut squash soup anytime it’s available, and pumpkin anything is usually never a disappointment. I have to say, it was eye-rollingly delicious. I was amazed. And it seemed so simple to make, too! Creamy coconut milk with pumpkin puree, studded with several dried cranberries and a few subtle spices. Within the next hour after lunch time, I overheard some disappointed hungry people being turned away because it had sold out due to its popularity.

A few weeks later I went on a Google quest to try and find a pureed pumpkin coconut concoction that sounded similar to the tastes of what I tried, and I pretty much got it spot on (plus or minus a few of my own adjustments). I tried to use as many coconut related ingredients as possible, like coconut oil and coconut butter. I used a lot of this the first time I made it, and it tasted best that time. Fairly simple and insanely good. It makes a fairly good amount and I just reheat it, add some unsweetened shredded coconut, dried cranberries, and a ton fresh cilantro, and have it for lunch and/or dinner over the course of the next few days. Oh, and it can vegan too very easily! Just use water or veggie broth in place for the chicken broth. It’s that simple. Let me know of any alterations you may make to it, I’d love some new ideas!

Cranberry Coconut Pumpkin Bisque
Makes about 6 servings
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1-2 chopped garlic cloves
3 cups canned solid pack pumpkin (the big 32 oz can does the trick)
2 cups chicken broth or water
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cups canned, unsweetened organic coconut milk
(additions I incorporate into individual servings)
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro
Melt oil in a large, heavy stockpot over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic and saute until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Add pumpkin, broth, sugar, allspice, cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth and return to pot.
Bring soup to a simmer, thinning with coconut milk until it is the desired thickness and taste.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mix in and garnish with some unsweetened shredded coconut, a tablespoon of dried cranberries, and some fresh cilantro.
And with that, it will probably be a little more quiet around here in the next few weeks ahead. A whirlwind of a month (and year) is ahead. I head up to the Ayurveda program starting this Friday, my 21st birthday is this Sunday, and I’m going to Vegas next week for a few days. I’m sure I’ll be back with plenty to talk about!
Be well and Namaste.
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