Courtesy Mayank Istwal, executive chef, Musaafer by The Spice Route Co., Houston
The cuisine at Musaafer, a new and notable spot in Houston, is inspired by the culinary diversity across all of India’s states. Chef Mayank Istwal developed this seasonal soup recipe for the home kitchen. Though he prefers to garnish with pumpkin-seed brittle and pumpkin mousse, pumpkin seeds and purée work almost as well.
For more from Chef Mayank Istwal, follow him @mayankistwal7 on Instagram.
- 2 pounds peeled and seeded pie pumpkin or butternut squash, cut in 2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder, plus more to garnish, if desired
- ¹/₃ cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped leeks or scallions
- 1 tablespoon chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
Heat oven to 300˚F.
Toss pumpkin with oil, curry powder, onion, garlic, leeks, celery, sugar and salt. Spread on sheet pan, and roast until very soft, about 1½ hours.
When cool enough to handle, transfer to blender or food processor. Blend until thick and smooth. Reserve ¼ cup purée, and transfer rest to saucepan.
Whisk in 3 cups water to create creamy consistency. Add more water, if needed. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer until ready to serve.
Just before serving, season with salt, to taste. Remove from heat, and whisk in cream. Divide among bowls, and garnish with reserved purée, seeds and curry powder, if using. Serves 4.
“Chenin Blanc is a wonderful pairing for fruits and vegetables in general, and pumpkin and butternut squash in particular,” says Sébastien Laval, general manager of Musaafer. “This is a stunning example produced from grapes grown in Nandi Hills in Karnataka state, and Nashik Valley in Maharashtra state.”