Dutch Dainty

by Julia Recker

When suddenly the whole country turns orange, you find nothing but orange products in the shelves in the supermarkets and all patriotic fellows wear their orange socks again, you know that either the dutch national team reached the final of the FIFA World Cup or King’s day is not far. Currently, the latter is the case. 
This fact made me buy a bright orange pumpkin yesterday – probably the last one for this season. 
There is no other veggie conjuring up such a creamy consistency than pumpkin. This inimitable smoothness together with the typical glowing color transform any recipe containing pumpkin into a unbeatable meal. Already oven roasted, pumpkin impresses with its unique soft texture.
There are countless options of incorporating pumpkin in recipes. I love it roasted as a component in salads, on a pizza or simply as soup. 
Pumpkins are low in calories but rich in dietary fiber and contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. The anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties of ginger also contribute to the healthy character of this meal. 
Gingery pumpkin soup
serves 2 bowls

for the soup:
1/2 hokkaido pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1 inch ginger, sliced
for the topping:
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 medium-sized red onions
3 garlic cloves 
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp honey
15 cherry tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight) 

First halve the pumpkin, remove the seeds and place in a huge cooking pot. Add boiling water until the pumpkin is covered. Add the sliced ginger. Close the pan with a lid and let boil for 20 minutes. 
Separately cook the presoaked chickpeas also for 20 minutes. 
Meanwhile prepare the topping. 
Peel and cut the onions and garlic into thin slices. Wash and halve the tomatoes. Melt coconut oil in a large frying pan and roast onions and garlic at medium heat until golden brown from both sides. Add the honey, thyme and tomatoes and keep stirring. 
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the frying pan. 
Turn the heating down. 
Take the pumpkin cooking pot off the heat and pour off the water but leave about 2 cups liquid in the pot. Add salt and puree finely with an immersion blender. You might need to add some more water, if it feels too thick. 
Pour the soup into bowls and top with the tomato-chickpea-mixture. Enjoy warm.
Many greetings from the Netherlands!

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