Easy Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Chilli

easy coconut pumpkin soup with chilli

I recently went to a cafe for a working lunch with My Awesome Co-teacher, and I was craving soup. Lucky for me their special was “Pumpkin, Leek and Chilli Soup”. Yum, right? Mmmmm, yeah, it was ok. But it was more like pumpkin soup with a blob of sweet chilli sauce thrown in at the end. Meh.

I decided that I would make my own version of this soup, and I have to say I was pretty impressed with my efforts. This soup is SOOO CREAMY without the use of cream, very thick and uber tasty. The kick from the chilli really does it for me, but if you’re not a chilli fan you can skip that bit.

This is a very simple to make soup. As long as you have some common sense. Read on…

Easy Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Chilli
(go ahead and ignore the blue text if you are toddler free)

makes approx 4 large serves or 6 small serves

1 small-medium butternut pumpkin, skin and seeds removed, chopped into large chunks
2 tablespoons of oil for roasting (I used coconut oil)
1 leek, rinsed and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon of oil for frying (I used rice bran oil)
2 cans coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
dried chilli flakes (or use fresh chillies) ~ if you’re not a chilli fan just leave it out
optional: freshly chopped coriander leaves for serving
1 toddler
common sense (sadly, I forgot this ingredient)

1. Remember the last time that you cooked with the toddler “helping” and choose to set them up with something entertaining and educational this time. I used ABC Kids.

2. Roast the pumpkin in coconut oil until golden and tender (20 – 30 minutes at 220 degrees).

3. Pop out to the bakery for some fresh bread to have with your soup, it’ll only take 20 minutes.

4. Realise (again) that nothing takes twenty minutes with a toddler, as you ask her patiently to please hurry-up-and-get-in-the-car-no-you-can’t-have-a-chocolate-frog-don’t-pick-up-that-dirty…-OH!-Gross!-come-here-let-me-wash-your-hands-HURRYUPANDGETINTHECAR!!

5. Promise yourself never to ‘pop out to the shops’ mid-cook again. What were you thinking?

6. Resume the entertaining and educational activity (see step 1).

7. When your pumpkin is nearly ready, fry the leeks until translucent.

8. Combine all ingredients except chilli and simmer until warmed through.

9. Add chilli to taste.

10. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste. Or use Italian parsley because you’ve run out of coriander and you want the photos to look pretty. For your blog. You geek!

11. Resume regular parenting programming. Lucky for us, it was nap time!

Have you eaten a delicious soup lately? Or perhaps you made one? Do tell!

ANZAC Day activities for children

ANZAC Activities for children

This year Pebble and I commemorated ANZAC Day with these child friendly activities:

Sugar Free ANZAC Slice* (UPDATE: Fructose Free)

Pebble loves cooking and doesn’t mind a bit of biscuit, usually a boring old arrowroot though, if has to be said. I adapted this recipe from Sweet Poison by David Gillespie and it is soooo good. I originally followed the recipe as it was, but then I was hit with some inspiration. The original recipe will give you some sweet and crunchy ANZAC biscuits, more traditional style. However, I am a lover of soft and chewy biscuits AND easy peasy slices, so I brought the two together for this very moreish Sugar Free ANZAC Slice. Genius, I know!**

*If you’re a fan of sugar you can use white or brown sugar (approx 3/4 cup) instead of dextrose, and golden syrup (approx 2 Tablespoons) instead of glucose. But PLEASE give this sugar free version a try, it is seriously good.

** I may have decided to make a slice after placing my first batch of biscuits a little too close together and kinda making a ‘slice’ by accident. Ahem. The batch in the photos was my second go at it, and made into a slice on purpose. If you want biscuits then make sure you leave a nice good space between each one, this mixture spreads ALOT.

Sugar Free ANZAC Slice

(Kiddo tips in blue!)

1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 cup (80g) rolled oats
3/4 cup (70g) desiccated coconut
1 1/4 cups dextrose (available with the home brewing gear in supermarkets or here).
150g butter
3 tablespoons boiling water
4 tablespoons glucose syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius (300 F). Line a slice tray with baking paper.

2. Sift flour into a large bowl.

Children LOVE measuring, pouring and sifting, this is a great job for little helping hands. Is it slower? Yeah! Messier? Yeah! More fun? Yeah!

3. Add oats, coconut and dextrose, then set aside.

Lots more measuring and pouring here, or if you have electronic scales you can have a natter about how much you need and which numbers you need to stop at.

4. Melt butter in a saucepan, then add syrup and water. Allow mixture to boil briefly before taking off the heat.

Very young children should stand well back at this point, but older children (school age) can help with supervision. A sturdy stool, chair or step will make it easier.

5. Add baking powder to the saucepan, allow it to foam, then pour immediately onto dry ingredients. Mix well.

Baking foam is F U N to watch foam up, but keep little ones away from the flames (surely you didn’t need me to write that, but there it is). This mixture is hot so take care. Have a mix yourself first, then as it cools (and it cools in seconds) kiddos can take over.

6. Pour into slice tin and spread evenly.

If you pour, they can spread. Team work! Don’t forget to lick the bowl…. mmmmmmm.

7. Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes, or until just golden and no longer wobbly for perfectly a soft and chewy slice. Cook for five minutes longer if you’d like it firmer with more crunch.

Set the timer and go for a play, or do the washing up together. Pebble is a huge fan of doing dishes (yep, once again, slower, messier but MORE FUN).

8. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then pop it on a wire rack to cool enough for chopping and storing. Try not to eat too many pieces as you go!

Set yourselves up for an afternoon snack or to take your slice to share with family and friends.

UPDATE: Read more about my sugar free journey and get yourself a recipe for Sugar Free Portuguese Custard Tarts here.

Poppy Potato Printing

ANZAC Poppy Potato Prints

This was so simple. I cut a potato in half and into the cut side of each half I made a poppy shape (how clever am I!? Well, I was impressed with myself). I poured red paint onto a damp folded up wash cloth which was sitting on a plate, this created the stamp pad. Child + stamp + paint = DONE!

More ANZAC stuff for kids:

  • For child friendly ways to explain ANZAC Day to children, visit ANZACday.org.au.
  • For information on ANZAC Day services in your state go to http://www.rsl.org.au/ –> Commemoration –> ANZAC Day.
  • Free ANZAC Printables from mooo.com.au.

Portuguese Custard Tarts (Sugar Free)

Wait! Don’t go! Just because this post is all “sugar free” doesn’t mean that it won’t be sweet. I promise. Just look at these pretty tarts!

sugar free portuguese tartssugar freeP1180187P1180192

Let me start at the beginning. In January this year I was feeling like crapola. I was in a holiday food coma and I needed to find a way out of it. That’s when I stumbled across two books, Sweet Poision by David Gillespie, and I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson*. Then I watched this. And I decided to give this sugar free gig a try.

I didn’t follow any program exclusively, but mashed them together to create a version of sugar free that worked for me. I treated it as an experiment, one that I could stop anytime if I didn’t feel like it was working for me (wise advice from Sarah Wilson).

That was 85 days ago.

And I haven’t looked back.

I quit sugar to kick my “addiction” to the sweet stuff. To say goodbye to the constant cravings and the NEED to eat something sweet. I was sick of being a slave to it. There are many good reasons not to eat sugar, but I’ll leave the explanations to the experts. I can say that it’s worked for me. I don’t crave sugar any more. It’s one less demon that I need to worry about.

However. I like food and friends, and having food with friends. I like feeding my friends. So I have sought out some recipes to help when I need a sweet treat on the table.

Over Easter I modified a recipe for Portuguese Custard Tarts to make it sugar free. And it worked! These are slightly citrusy from the lemon zest, and just sweet enough to hit the spot.

Sugar Free Portuguese Custard Tarts
(go ahead and ignore the blue text if you are toddler free)

makes 12

prep + cook time 55 minutes

2/3 cup (170ml) rice syrup (available in most supermarkets and health food shops)
2 tablespoons cornflour
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups (300ml) pouring cream
1/3 cup (80m) water
3cm strip lemon rind
1 sheet ready-rolled butter puff pastry
1 toddler
patience and persistence

1. Make a chair prison for your toddler and set them up with some patty pans, a muffin tray, and some seeds or lentils to keep them busy “helping” you.

2. Preheat oven to 220C. Grease 12-hole muffin pan. NOTE: I used a tart pan for one batch and a muffin pan for the second batch. I preferred the muffin pan.

3. Whisk syrup, cornflour, egg yolks, cream and water until smooth. Add lemon rind and stir over a medium heat until mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat, discard rind. Stir extract into custard.

4. Give the toddler her dummy, even though she’s probably too old for it and it’s not sleep time (but she’s still in her pyjamas, so close enough).

5. Cut pastry sheet in half. Place halves on top of each other. Roll pastry tightly (like a swiss roll) from one short side; cut roll into twelve equal rounds.

6. Give the toddler a cuddle and a promise of play in just “one more minute”. Liar.

7. Place pastry rounds, cut sides up, on lightly floured surface. Roll each into a 10cm round. Push rounds into pan holes; spoon in custard.

5. Bake custard tarts about 20 minutes. Stand 5 minutes before lifting onto wire rack to cool.

6. Go and play with the poor kid.

So, what am I grateful for?

~ high backed kitchen chairs that prevent a toddler from falling when she’s standing on said chairs and “helping” me cook.

~ rice syrup, for making my sugar free life sweet.

~ patty pans and their never ending ability to divert the attention of a toddler.

What are you grateful for? Join in with Maxabella and Kidspot.

*Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post.