It’s Halloween today, the best excuse imaginable to dish up a pumpkin soup recipe. Indeed, I feel like I need an excuse for that. Why? Because there are already so many recipes for pumpkin soup in circulation. And also a bit because those soups are rarely heavenly. They are most of all comfortable. Perhaps we should call pumpkin soup the homebody of soups.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin soup as much as anyone. (And, while we’re on the confession, I’ve been barely knocking my yoga leggings out like everyone else since mid-March.) It’s easy to make and becomes, if only for the sweetness of the vegetable and the velvety texture when cooked and mashed, quickly becomes a comforting dish. My only point is that it rarely becomes a culinary masterpiece.

Does that matter? Well, that doesn’t matter. A pot of comforting, homey soup on the stove can make the difference between a slightly depressing dammit-what-a-grey-weather-and-now-that-the-halloween-party-even-if-no-how-long-going -this-this-shit-still-last-day and a wonderful-say-we-don’t-need-at-all-out-the-door-let’s-make-it-cozy-here-who-have-there- fancy-in-a-game day. In short, a pot of pumpkin soup can make your Saturday.

How about getting started? You can use any kind of pumpkin for this recipe. If you use an organically grown specimen, you don’t even have to peel it. A good scrubbing is then sufficient. If you have trouble with carving, you can let it cook in its entirety for a while in the oven first. After 20-30 minutes, a large, sharp kitchen knife will slide right through.

Pumpkin soup can taste a bit bland and bland, but don’t worry about that with this recipe. The apple and lime juice provide the necessary acid. The coconut chutney not only provides a bit of bite, but also provides some extra freshness and spiciness. If you want it really spicy, leave the seeds in the chili pepper.

Yes, that coconut chutney really makes the soup sing. Not bad, isn’t it, for soup that feels like old sweatpants that have become super soft after 1,238 washes?

Spicy pumpkin soup with coconut chutney for 4 persons

A splash of olive or peanut oil;

1 leek, in rings;
a good thumb of ginger root, finely chopped;
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped;
2 red chiles, seeded or seeded, finely chopped;
1 kg pumpkin, peeled if desired, cut into pieces;
1 tart apple, peeled and cut into pieces;
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised, the stiff outer part removed;
1 can coconut milk (à 400 ml);
1 liter of vegetable stock;
3 tbsp grated (dried) coconut;
1 shallot, finely chopped;
3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped;
lime juice

heat a dash of oil in a stockpot and fry the leek rings for a few minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and half of the chili pepper and fry for a few minutes. Add the pumpkin pieces, the apple and lemongrass and pour the coconut milk and stock into the pan. Bring to boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for half an hour.

Rooster for the chutney the coconut in a dry pan until it starts to colour. Let cool and mix in the shallot, the other half of the chili pepper, the coriander, 2 tablespoons lime juice and salt to taste.

Vis remove the lemongrass stalk from the stockpot and puree the soup with a hand blender until smooth. Season with salt and lime juice if necessary. Non-vegetarians can use fish sauce instead of or in addition to salt. Serve the soup in bowls and spoon a spoonful of coconut chutney into each bowl.