Curried Pumpkin Soup with Preserved Lemons

September 25, 2011
Curried Pumpkin Soup with Preserved Lemons

Author Notes: So close to 20 years ago, on a visit to my Aunt Sheila's house, we were served a curried pumpkin soup. To this day it remains one of the most amazing dishes I have ever eaten. About 10 years ago, I asked her about the recipe. Not only doesn't she remember where she got the recipe, she has no memory of making the dish. So for the past several years off and on I have tried to recreate it. And after several dozen attempts I have begun to suspect that I will never actually be able to recreate a fantasy that has, in all likelihood, ranged far from reality. As for this soup, well, it is not that soup. But it's still pretty tasty.

Roasting the pumpkin was definitely a good idea and the preserved lemons (although a bit odd sounding) were a real eye-opener, brightening the soup without being identifiable. As a caveat, I would seriously recommend to hold off on adding salt until the preserved lemons have had a chance to leach what salt remains on them into the soup.

Serves: 4-6


  • 1 pumpkin, cut into manageable pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 teaspoons sweet curry powder (Penzey's is great)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 preserved lemon, peel and pith only, diced fine
  • salt and pepper as needed
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 365. Split the pumpkin manageable size pieces and remove the seeds. Brush with melted butter (or you can use some additional walnut oil) and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for about an hour (it took me 85 minutes so translating to sea level will probably put it around the hour mark). When the pumpkin has cooled enough to handle, remove the skins and cut into smaller pieces
  2. In a heavy bottomed large pot, heat walnut oil until hot. Add the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  3. When the onions are done, add the chicken broth and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the curry powder. Simmer for about an hour.
  4. When the vegetables are soft enough, remove from heat and puree using a immersion blender. Don't stress a few lumpy bits.
  5. Return to low heat. Add the coconut milk, grated ginger, cayenne and preserved lemons (don't forget to rinse the lemons well). Stir and let it sit around and ponder the mysteries of life until the ingredients have had a chance to get to know one another. Only then should you add salt if it needs any.

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