Another day, another new recipe, and this one is Moroccan too. I have come to the conclusion that I am obsessed with Moroccan food, and that’s not a bad thing at all. The Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Roasted Vegetables I just made is destined to become a favorite, but I thought I would try something a little different today. This Moroccan Roasted Pumpkin Soup sounds like the perfect food for wintertime, and it’s a vegetarian dish. Want vegan? Just use vegan honey, go with another sweet syrup like agave nectar (my favorite), or skip it altogether.
Moroccan roasted pumpkin soup is everything that you want a good soup to be. Its filling, delicious, super hearty and perfect for fall.
I have to be honest and tell you that I actually made this recipe back in December 2021, and it was no problem finding a pumpkin at that time of year. Pumpkin season is technically mid-September through November, but these days you can get most anything year-round.
If not, it is possible to store whole pumpkins in a cool, dry place for months. If that’s not your thing or not possible, freezing is also an option. You will need to cook the pumpkin first, though, so it requires more planning and effort.
I used a small pie pumpkin that was about 5 pounds. It seemed to be the perfect amount, though I’m guessing a slightly larger pumpkin would work too. I don’t think it’s possible to have too much pumpkin for pumpkin soup!
Almost all of the remaining ingredients were easily found at my regular grocery store. I did have to shell the pistachios myself and seed a pomegranate. The nuts were easy, and the pomegranate was a learning experience. It is possible to buy pomegranate seeds—my store sells them in the refrigerated produce section with the juices, but they were out of stock.
Ras El Hanout Spice Mix
The only thing I couldn’t find was the ras el hanout. No worries, though, because I found a ras el hanout recipe on Pinterest (of course!). I had to buy a bottle of anise seeds (not the same as fennel seeds, FYI), but I had everything else in my overstuffed pantry.
This is an easy spice mix to make since there is no toasting, just zip everything into a powder using a coffee grinder. By the way, I keep one for coffee and one for spices, in different colors to tell them apart easily. You do not want to mix them up, trust me!
Tip: The cinnamon sticks were a little big for my grinder, so I had to get clever to make them fit. I did this by putting them into a small zipper bag and pounding them with the flat side of my meat mallet. It worked a treat!
I know this recipe does have a LOT of spices in it, and most people aren’t going to have them lying around. If you do, awesome! If not, you can always buy readymade ras el hanout.
I have to say this recipe was pretty easy to follow, and I only had one “what do I do now?” moment. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 10 minutes to prep the garlic and pumpkin
- 40 minutes to roast the garlic and pumpkin
- During roasting:
- 8 minutes to seed the pomegranate
- 7 minutes for remaining prep work
- 5 minutes to cool the pumpkin and garlic
- 40 minutes to finish the soup
- 1 hour 35 minutes total
The recipe’s total time was listed at 1 hour, so this took significantly longer. I’m not sure where the slowdown was.
Prepping the Pumpkin and Garlic
Things kicked off with cleaning and cubing the pumpkin so it could be roasted. I used two sheet pans and an olive oil sprayer to ensure they were thoroughly coated. I also sprinkled the pumpkin with cinnamon though my photo doesn’t show it.
This was my unsure moment since peeling the pumpkin isn’t mentioned. It has to be pureed later, so I opted to peel it after roasting. It’s much easier to peel the softened pumpkin cubes than a hard, uncooked pumpkin.
By the way, the oven temperature is given in Celcius, and I had to convert it. It’s 356℉, but I had to set my oven to 355℉ as it works in multiples of 5 degrees. One degree off is close enough in my book.
Seeding the Pomegranate
While the pumpkin and garlic roasted, I decided to seed the pomegranate next. I’ve never done this before, so I had to search for a pomegranate seeding tutorial. I found one that looked so easy, but it wasn’t IRL.
The biggest problem for me was that squeezing the pomegranate and hitting it with a wooden spoon caused it to spray bright red juice everywhere. Ev-er-y-where! And my kitchen has white counters and a white backsplash. It looked like a murder scene! Okay, it looked like someone had a very bad accident, but it wiped away from everything but my wooden cutting boards.
Tip: I moved the pomegranate and equipment into my kitchen sink to finish, and it caught most of the spray. I also ended up scooping out the seeds with a small teaspoon. I had to pick through them to remove bits of white rind. It didn’t go as smoothly as the video, but it was my first time. I definitely need to practice!
Finishing the Soup
The remaining prep work only took a few more minutes and went according to the instructions. That left me plenty of time to clean up the pomegranate juice spatters.
When the pumpkin and garlic were cool enough I squeezed and mashed the garlic and peeled the pumpkin. Some of it just peeled right off with my fingers, and the rest was easily removed with a paring knife. Pie pumpkins have thin skin, but I just didn’t feel right leaving it on.
Now the soup could begin! I used my 4.5-quart saucepan, and it was just the right size. Everything in this part went so smoothly and exactly according to the instructions. I had the soup made and pureed with my immersion blender in 40 minutes.
Once it came time to garnish, I was so excited! The photos of this Moroccan Roasted Pumpkin Soup were so beautiful, and I expected mine to be nice too. They were, but I was disappointed that the coconut cream dissipated very quickly. I guess the brand I bought was too thin to hold up, and I didn’t get those beautiful white swirls.
I think the problem was that I shook the can to mix it. The cream itself was solid and never would have poured. Tip: Next time I’ll try slowly mixing the cream with the thinner liquid in the can. The goal is a thick but pourable liquid so it holds up in the soup.
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