This childish little game of peek-a-boo continues for half an hour ever morning before another alarm goes off. This time in another room. The kitchen to be precise. Letting out a sigh I throw off the quilt and swing my legs off the bed. My eyes are barely open as I stumble and fumble to reach and turn off the irritating device. Even before I switch off the alarm, I switch on the electric kettle placed right next to it. Throughout the year, I like to kick start my day with a glass of warm water. But with the cold weather playing havoc with my immune system, I need a glass of warm water even for splashing on to my face. Open pores be damned.
No wonder warm fluids are the mainstay of my life during the winter months. And after endless glasses of warm water and half a dozen cups of tea, piping hot soups are very much a part of my everyday routine. Especially on days like today when I have a bad throat and everything tastes like sawdust. As usual ended up skipping lunch in favour of a big bowl of Pumpkin and Shallots soup. Roasted the stuff in an oven for added flavor though it can also be prepared in a pressure cooker.
Read on for the recipe -
Preparation Time - 40 mins ( takes just 20 mins if pressure cooked )
- 1 cups pumpkin slices (about 4 mm thickness)
- 10-12 shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4-5 almonds
- a dash of paprika
- a pinch of powdered cloves
- salt to taste
- olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
- 2-3 cups vegetable stock
Preparation - Soak the almonds overnight . Wash and peel them.
Place the pumpkin slices , 4-5 shallots and garlic cloves on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a dash of salt.
Place it in a pre-heated oven and bake for 30 mins at 200 C. Remove .
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender jar along with the almonds and 1/2 cup of hot vegetable stock. Blend for 2 mins .
Pour the liquid into a saucepan and place it on a low flame. Add the sugar and paprika. Adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more vegetable stock. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
In the meanwhile, peel and chop the remaining shallots into tiny rings. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan and add the shallots. Fry on low flame till they are caramelized. Remove and keep aside.
Pour the soup into the serving bowls. Garnish with the caramelized shallots.