Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sweet Pumpkin Soup With Ice Cream

Sweet pumpkin soup with ice cream.

As you know, I am very much a happy farmer. Picking a winter melon off the vine, finding a mango that has fallen to the ground (I never pick them off my trees), biting into a perfectly ready guava (home-grown guavas are totally different from store bought ones), eating foot-long slices of papayas with my hands and munching on jack fruit from my 16 year-old tree are simple pleasures I am grateful for. We recently ate the most amazing custard apple from a small tree that we didn't even know we had. If I don't go to the market, I have a choice of choy sum, kang kong, taro, scallions, Chinese celery, basil, Chinese chives, sayur manis, emperor leaves, mint and okra from my garden. The bunga kantan (torch ginger) bush is blooming and my daun kesom are so lush that they look like grass. Time to cook assam laksa. The kampung chickens have been slowly culled from about thirty to two hens, a rooster and about eleven chicks. Stray cats come and grab the chicks and I've grown numb to the chicks' petrified chirps in the middle of the night. Instead, I listen for the thud of mangoes hitting the ground but the tree is too far away. If the chicks find the mangoes before me, I cut away the part they peck and eat whatever's left.

We don't use commercial fertilizer. All decomposable stuff--veggies and fruit peelings--goes into the big compose bin. I haven't bought any soil in years.

The pumpkin from my garden last week was sweet and flavorful with a texture I can't describe--fibrous yet tender? My pumpkin vines grow wild and untended from seeds we throw out. Don't fret if you don't have  pumpkins in your garden because I've found that pumpkins sold in the market are mostly home-grown. Look for pumpkins with the deepest orange color. They are sweeter and tend to not have a crunchy texture.

I gave half my pumpkin to a friend and cut off a small chunk from the remainder to make this dessert which I first ate in Singapore a few months ago. I couldn't get coconut ice cream so vanilla it was. I also didn't add any cream to the pumpkin puree because I wanted to taste pure pumpkin puree before the ice cream melted. A spoonful of tiny sago pearls gave extra texture to the puree. Served very cold, this is a good dessert to end a Chinese dinner.

You can substitute the pumpkin with taro. Taro would be even more delicious. I harvested two tiny taros the size of my fist and boiled them with sweet potatoes. The fragrance that filled my house was unbelievable and the taste was unlike any taro I've ever eaten. But I should save that story for another post.


Sweet Pumpkin Soup With Ice Cream
400 gm pumpkin
300 ml water
2 T sugar (optional)
1) Peel and cut the pumpkin into small chunks.
2) Put pumpkin and water into a small pot and boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar if using.
3) Puree with hand blender when still warm. Cool and then chill. If the puree is too thick, add some water.

1/2 cup small sago pearls
coconut ice cream

4) Boil the sago pearls with enough water to cover by 2 to 3 cm. When pearls are nearly transparent (solid white center still visible), switch heat off and leave covered for about 15 minutes. The pearls will turn totally transparent.
5) Drain away the cooking water and fill the pot (with the sago pearls) until half full, stir well to separate the sago pearls and drain through a fine sieve to remove the dissolved starch.
6) Fill small individual serving bowls 3/4 full with the pumpkin puree and add 1 to 2 tablespoon of boiled sago pearls to the puree. Stir well to mix. Put a big scoop of coconut ice cream (or vanilla if you can't find coconut) into the puree and serve immediately.


missyblurkit said...

this is simple and healthy. i reckon this is yet another good recipe that i could use to make the hubster eat pumpkins.

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri!
Was at vedablu city mall just now, just FYI...they hv coconut ice-cream at the mo :)


Michelle Chin said...

You must have really green fingers!

My parents tried planting things but the porous nature of the soil allowed only sugar cane and sweet potato leaves to flourish. :(

Food so delicious! said...

Ooo.. I love this too! However, I noticed that whenever I have pumpkin made this way, I tend to suffer from very bad ache on my heels. I am not sure why and the specialist cannot explain. Pumpkin cooked in any other style, seems ok.

By the way, please write a post of your garden.. I can just imagine the many fruits and vegetables you have!

Blur Ting said...

I love your lifestyle! I'm growing pumpkin in my patio, not for the pumpkin but for the flowers. I want to try battering the flowers and frying them. Very rustic food.

MiloŇ° said...

Give us a tour of your garden, it would be especially interesting for us living outside tropics. I never heard of some of the plants you mentioned.

timjaymom said...

Mmmm... I remember the pumpkin you gave me once. Quite unusual - long and bended, but super yummy!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

missy: the guys just don't appreciate veggies do they...

rae: oh thank you, i think it's worth a trip to town just to eat vedablu ice cream:) love their rum n raisins

michelle; porous soil is good for the roots and if you add humus and fertilizer, anything'll grow and grow well.

food: tt's strange. i must observe if it happens to me too. ok, i will post on my garden one day:)

blrting: you must try it and tell me. i love battered zucchini flowers

milos: i will do a post on my garden one day. you can check 'what's that' on my links for some fruits and veggies that you may not have seen before:)

timjay'smom: gosh, if you hv another kid your name'll be longer. but i'm smiling bc i use yimingwey as my password for many years! wish you live nearby so i can pass you stuff from my garden:)

the lunch guy said...

now i know what to put on my next specials menu in the dessert section.

another great K.I.S.S. classic.

BTW: check your email .........

tina said...

How I envy your garden with all the wonderful things that you have grown.

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