Paul’s Pumpkin (Squash) Rasam

1 red onion
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 dried red chile
3 cloves garlic
2 square inches of ginger, finely sliced
1 C unsweetened coconut
6 coarsely chopped carrots
1 C chopped celery (orig recipe called for celery root)
2 acorn squash (orig recipe says this or 5 cups chopped sugar pumpkin)
1 can diced tomato
1 can lentils
1 tsp salt
1/4 C tamarind paste (see instructions….substituted chunks from block and pomegranite molasses)

2 T canola oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
20 fresh curry leaves

1/4 C each chopped chives and cilantro
1/4 C toasted green pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375F. Rub onion with oil and roast around 50 minutes.
When cool enough, peel and chop and put aside.

One at a time toast over low heat and then set aside the coriander, cumin, peppercorns and cloves then bay leaf, fenugreek and chile. Then grind together.
(Next time I would just toast them all together).

Toast garlic cloves in large saucepan over low heat until slightly charred.
Add the ginger and toast til slightly coloured.
Add coconut and toast til lightly coloured. (Smells fantastic at this point).
Increase heat to medium high and add the carrots, celery and oil.
Cook and stir for around 3 minutes.
Stir in the squash and cook for another 2 minutes.
Stire in tomatoes, lentils, onion, salt and 3 quarts water.
Simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in the ground spices. Here the original recipe called for tamarind paste..I chopped off a few pieces from the block I had and threw them in and also about 2 T pomegranite molasses (who knows why; seemed like a good idea at the time and it turned out to be).
Simmer for a few minutes longer.

Strain the soup.
(Here I departed from the original. It said to press through until you go no more than 20% of the solids through the strainer…this left a thin broth with a less than full flavour considering all that had already happened. I took about 1/3 of the solids leaving out mostly the onions, hand blended them well and then stirred them back into the broth. This punched up the flavour considerably).

Just before serving, heat the oil in a skillet til hot, add mustard seeds until they start popping and then the curry leaves…then stir the sizzling mixture into the soup.
Garnish with the chives, cilantro and pumpkin seeds.

Great soup!! Based on a recipe in One Spice Two Spice.

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