I’M ALIVE, PEOPLE. And today, I have another long-overdue recipe to share with you!
After the first few days of Chinese New Year, I’ve been cooking a whole lot more because I’ve inevitably gained weight from the influx of rubbish junk food I’d been gorging on (pineapple tarts, bak kwa, etc etc). I couldn’t wait to get back to real, wholesome food. I love my Chinese New Year snacks, but lawd, they’re unhealthy.
I realized that I don’t have the time to tediously shoot step-by-step cooking tutorial pictures (they are a lot more trouble than they look) which is the number one thing that throws me off actually getting around to documenting my cooking… Whenever I’m in the kitchen, I’m always in a rush because I’m either 1) very hungry or 2) cooking for anticipating guests, so taking over an hour to record a purposefully-visually-appealing recipe is out of the question on most days! So, I decided to just do away with in-process pictures for easier recipes, and show you the final product that you can expect. This way, it’s a lot more manageable for me.. you guys can also expect more frequent posts! I promise the recipes will still be easy to follow.
One of my favorite things to whip up in the kitchen to impress my friends would definitely be a good bowl of hearty soup. It seems straightforward enough, but impressive when you nail it. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how difficult it is to get a good bowl of soup outside. Most Western restaurants in Singapore either serve diluted, tasteless, blah tasting flavored water they call SOUP, or overly-starchy soups that taste like Campbell’s. It’s ridiculous.
Because soup has to be one of the best things to cook at home, for many reasons! It’s cheap, fuss free and extremely forgiving towards amateur cooks. It warms your tummy and soul, it’s great food for the sick (and the healthy!) and well, there’s really no good reason why you shouldn’t make soup at home. Here’s my own rendition of an absolutely delicious Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup for you to try! You will need a blender for this.
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 4 strips of bacon
- 500g pumpkin, de-gutted
- 150g cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 600ml full cream milk
- 1 cube chicken stock
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- sprig of thyme & paprika for garnishing (optional)
- Boil cauliflower & pumpkin in a large pot until very soft to the touch, then remove skin from pumpkin and cut into 2cm chunks, set aside together with cauliflower.
- While your vegetables are boiling, fry the bacon in a non-stick pan until brown and crisp around the edges. You won’t need any oil for this. Cut the bacon with kitchen scissors into small pieces.
- Pour out 95% of excess oil from frying the bacon, reserving the last 5% to sautee onions and garlic for 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
- Add boiled cauliflower & pumpkin to the pan, and stir for another 3 minutes.
- Pour in the milk and add chicken stock. Let this mixture gently simmer until chicken stock is fully dissolved.
- Using an electric blender, blend the chunky soup mixture on high until completely smooth, around 10 seconds.
- Return the soup to the pan, and check if consistency is to your liking. If too thick, add more milk to thin it out. If too thin, let it simmer for a few more minutes until the texture seems just right. Add salt/pepper to taste. Note that texture of soup will thicken as it cools.
- Serve immediately, garnish with sprig of thyme for that hint of freshness, sprinkle with paprika & more black pepper. I also like to drizzle mine with a little bit of milk and olive oil. Top off with bacon pieces.
An effortlessly creamy Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup that’s not overly rich, but hearty enough to keep your tummy satisfied.
It’s so smooth that people always assume it takes a long time to do, or that I use real cream in it.. neither of which is true! It’s light enough for lunch, and great as a side dish for dinner. I love the natural sweetness it has from the pumpkin – it goes so well together with the little bites of savory bacon pieces. The perfect blend of sweet & savory liquid food. This soup is always a huge hit at my dinner parties and I’ve honestly never met anyone that didn’t love it or finish their whole bowl, even people who don’t normally eat pumpkin! For the super health conscious, I guess you could skip the bacon and substitute with croutons or something… but where’s the fun in that?
Happy soup making! This is one recipe for the family because it makes a big pot, great for sharing.