From The Observer/Guardian, September 10, 2010.
It’s a good day when a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe fits within my Weight Watchers diet. Ottolenghi comes up with ideas that work better on paper than in the pan. This one is a keeper. In this spice fantasy of his, he takes summer (corn) and winter (squash) on a vacation to Southeast Asia. The directions are straightforward. The ingredients are not as outré as you might first think. Yotam offers good substitutions, if you can’t come up with lime leaves, like I can.
A bit of chopping but otherwise easy…
Amount per serving: 1 and a half cups
Weight Watchers points per serving: 5
Calories per serving: 350
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots (100g), peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 celery sticks, cut into 1 cm [1/4 inch] dice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
400g [14 oz] peeled pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1 cm [1/4 inch] dice
2 bay leaves
3 lime leaves, or a few shaved strips of lime zest
1 liter [4.2 cups] water
1 chipotle chilli, soaks in boiling water for 15 minutes
Shadowcook: Or, if you can’t find dried chipotles, buy a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, rinse off the sauce, and chop. The more seeds you remove, the less heat you’ll taste in the soup.
4 sweetcorn cobs, kernels shaved off
160g [about half a cup] soured cream [that’s sour cream]
3 limes, halved
1 handful torn coriander [cilantro] leaves
Heat the oil in a medium pot, add the shallots, garlic, celery, ground cumin, ground coriander and a little salt, and sauté on low heat for 12 minutes, to soften the vegetables.
Add the pumpkin (or squash), bay leaves, lime leaves (or zest), and water. Squeeze the water of out of the chipotle chilli, remove and discard the seeds, chop roughly and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft. Add the corn and cook for five minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to lift out about half of the vegetables, and removed and discard the bay and lime leaves. Blitz the remaining soup until smooth, then return to the vegetables to the pot and bring to a light simmer. Add a little water if you find it too thick. Stir in half the soured cream and taste for seasoning.
Shadowcook: I used my blender. A food processor works just as well.
Divide the soup into six bowls, squeeze the juice of half a lime into each portion, drop about a tablespoonful of soured cream in the middle and scatter over the torn coriander leaves.
Shadowcook: Or, for all you singletons, freeze in 4 or 5 small containers all but a cup and a half. A bowl of this soup in winter will remind you of August.