Friday, September 25, 2009

Creamy Pumpkin soup with cashews

It’s curious how a person can live several years in a country, and don’t go out from the city where he or she lives.  I have lived in Moscow until the age of seven, and I have never been to St. Petersburg…until this summer. Yeah, after knowing that I was going to come to Russia, my lovely cousin (I don't know which blog I must link: this or this?)organized a weekend trip to St. Petersburg because she knew that I have never been there before.  

The journey was tiring because we took a night train, which means that nobody slept very well (an armchair is not the most comfortable place to sleep), but I don’t complain because seeing the city worth it. St. Petersburg in summer is full of tourists, with wide roads and old but restored buildings that looked very picturesque. Unfortunately, I was wrong with my weather prediction, and I spent the two days roasting in trainers and long jeans because it was 25ºC (which means that you have the feeling that it’s like 35ºC).

I could explain how beautiful the city was, but I think you will enjoy more seeing it by yourself =) Probably a Russian recipe would have gone better with the post, but I have got by on quick and easy dishes since I began school (you know, the difficult life of a student). So here is a quick and easy pumpkin soup with cashews, tofu and panch phoran. Don’t you love this wonderful vegetable? I have on mind more pumpkin recipe (like the raw shredded pumpkin with raisins and cinnamon I had today for lunch), so if you are a pumpkin lover too, be on alert.

A vegetarian café in St.Petersburg.

Me drinking a cup of tea (yeah, it's what I am looking at) and my cousin.

The room where we stayed. I would like to have a balcony like this.

Out breakfast: a huge amount of fresh fruit. Blackberries, raspberries, cherries, prunes from the closest market.

A Japanese restaruant called "Two chopsticks". I ordered the vegetarian set. Delicious!

Last day, in the theathre.


Creamy Pumpkin soup with cashews

When I saw SusanV recipe Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoran, I knew I had to try this spice blend. Panch phoran is used in Bangladesh and Eastern India, and it’s composed from cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard and kalonjii in equal amounts. I didn’t have kalonjii, so I omitted it. I could say it a panch phoran….my way It’s difficult to explain its tastes or smell, so I will only say: try it. Combined with the sweetness of the pumpkin, the creaminess of the tofu and the nutty note of the cashews, it won’t disappoint you.

Recipe from: original recipe

Serves: 2-3

½ medium pumpkin
1 peeled apple
¼ bloc firm tofu
2-3 tbsp cashews
1 cup water
½ cup milk (I used soy milk, coconut milk would taste great too)
1 tbsp panch phoran (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp oil
1tsp salt
Extra cashews for decoration

Chop the pumpkin, the apple and the tofu.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the panch phoran, until it becomes fragrant. Add the chopped ingredients and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Put the water to boil, and add all the ingredients. Cook on a low heat for 20-30 minutes without the lid (or only partially covered), or the milk can boil over.

Put it all in the food processor and puree until it becomes a smooth cream. Add more salt if necessary. Serve with some extra cashews on top and a drizzle of oil.


Tanya said...

Love, love pumpkin soup, Thx for this recipe :-)

sweetbird said...

I love this combination of flavors. It looks delicious!

Lori said...

This sounds like a lovely soup. Looks so warm and comforting. I just love cashews too.

Maya said...

Thanks for posting the pics of your trip.Cute little hotel room.

to2sassy said...

I am not familiar with Panch phoron and looked it up. It said that you could substitute Garam Masala. I have that in my spice cabinet already.Do you think it is an acceptable substitution?

Ksenia said...

I copy here the answer I gave ti to2sassy, if anyone else have the same doubt :)

I think Garam Masa would be an acceptable substitution. They both have cumin, which is a "dominant" spice because of the strong aroma and flavor (that's why I love cumin =D), and they are not especially hot. Most of Garam Masalas have cinnamon in it, and apple with cinnamon is a winner combo :) What's more, I think that Garam masala would have tasted even better in this dish xD