A few weeks ago I planned on starting this soup series. Every Sunday during the cooler months I’d come up with a new soup recipe to keep you warm during the upcoming months. Week one came and went. This will be breezy. One problem. Our weeks are hectic and stretched and worn and the weekends are worse. So week two came and went without a soup imprint left on this blog. And although I thought the fate of this weekend’s post was sealed, I was able to come up with this post. Late, yes. Minor detail.
When my wife started her photography passion that quickly morphed into a career, we didn’t see this coming. We hoped our styles would touch a nerve with some people, but the truth is we didn’t know where it was headed. One shoot led to another which opened the door on another and, before we knew it, our summer and fall was booked. Is booked.
My week is consumed with work. W’s week is spent editing and in post-processing. At night we alternate between work and family commitments and work. Before we know it, the day that started off with so much promise is over. Done. And one day bleeds into another which spills over to another. One by one.
Saturday mornings have changed in appearance and feel recently. The long simmer in bed and stretched-out slow unfold in the kitchen with a pot of tea or coffee has ended. Instead the bell rings sooner. Louder. We wake up and grab our things and prep the upcoming shoot and leave. Gone before the shadow of our recent past steps out of bed.
We spent the meaty part of Saturday huddled inside a hockey area snapping away at the lovely couple doing circles around the damp, cold arena. You could see the fog lift from the ice with every blade snapping clear of the ice. We kept shooting until they got cold. We were cold. And then we headed outside to feel the cold fall rain pepper down.
The second location was at a nearby barn. We escaped the rain but were constantly reminded by the chorus of raindrops bouncing off the top of the barn. And we enjoyed our cover and slipped away into the day, enjoying every second of it. And snapped one more picture in the rain out front on the street that screamed autumn.
When we got home I made this soup. You know when you’re outside and cold and wet and you just want to get back inside your warm house and have something hot and tasty to relax with? That’s how we felt. This soup cured everything that ailed us. It helped us relax, unwind, regroup and get back to work, Editing pictures.
Sunday morning started off just like Saturday, only earlier. The alarm echoed off the walls while the stark black sky covered the horizon. No light in sight and a long drive ahead of us. We were off with the potential of the day there to guide us.
We drove up to the long gravel road that led us from the road to their house. Over fifty acres in the middle of God’s country. An old farmhouse, horses, fruit trees lining the property and the newly engaged couple there to greet us. We knew right away that this had potential. It helped that the predicted rain and dark clouds were replaced with a warm breeze and fall sun sitting high atop us.
The shoot started when we walked down the old CN trail that was out back of the property and littered with leaves. We wound our way around the property, down old picturesque trails and back again. We stopped to feed fallen apples to the horses and picked wild blueberries. The old shack out back sits beside their own pond, soon to be frozen for family games of hockey. Everywhere we turned we saw opportunity. And love.
After a quick coffee break we headed to the barn. One hundred and fifty years old, it houses a thousand untold stories. It was the perfect location to end the shoot. The light trickled in from the gaps in the boards out front and the floor squeaked with each step onward. After another hour or so we decided we had what we came for. A new friendship and beautiful pictures of a lovely couple.
Just as we left the rain started down. At first it was soft and easy, but as soon as we hit the highway we watched it alternate from light rain to heavy downfall. The entire trip we kept saying how nice it would be to be home. Change and be warm. And that’s what we did.
I finished the night with another bowl of this soup. It reminds me of October with a great flavour profile. It reminded me of the weekend that was in the heart of this beautiful province during my favourite season. It was a bowl of love. And memories made with my wife.
This post may be late, or delayed, but here it is. A soup to make on a cold rainy day and to share with the person you love most. Whoever that may be.
From my kitchen to yours,
Pumpkin, Coconut & Lime Soup
- 1 pumpkin (roughly 2lb.)peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. butter, melted
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 400ml can of coconut milk
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- sea salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- Scrape out seeds from the pumpkin and wash clean in a colander. Pat dry and spread out in a baking pan drizzled with melted butter. Toast for about 12 minutes, or until lightly coloured and toasted. Remove and save for garnish.
- Heat half of the olive oil in a large pot and, once the oil is hazy, add in the onions and thyme. Cook for five minutes or until onions are soft. Add in the pumpkin and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring often, until pumpkin is soft and golden.
- Add in the coconut milk, 2 tbsp. of lime juice, smoked paprika and vegetable stock and season. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree with a hand blender until smooth. Check for seasoning.
- Serve soup in bowls garnished with pumpkin seeds, a pinch of smoked paprika, remaining lime juice and drizzle of olive oil.