The benefits of this colourful, seasonal soup go beyond its delicious flavour and quick cooking time – it is also a beauty treatment!
This surprising fact is all down to pumpkin’s high content of carotenoids, the compounds that give the gourd their bright orange colour. These colourful, anti-oxidant compounds have been shown to give the skin a natural glow. In fact, one study found that that eating foods with these deeply coloured pigments can make your face look healthier. When shown before and after pictures of people who had eaten carotenoid rich diets, respondents were more likely to consider the carotenoid complexion healthy and attractive.
Pumpkins are also rich in vitamin A, which aids wound repair and protects against photoageing. A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake.
With its nutritional benefits and its enticing flavour, this warming dish is sure to bring a glow to heart, mind and skin.
1½ kg pumpkin or squash, peeled and roughly chopped
4 tsp sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 lemongrass, bashed a little
3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
400ml can coconut milk
850ml vegetable stock
lime juice and sugar, for seasoning
Fresh coriander and roasted pumpkin seeds, to serve (optional)
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Add the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tin with half the oil and seasoning, then roast for 30 minutes until golden and tender.
- Whilst waiting, place the remaining oil in a pan with the onion, ginger and lemongrass. Gently cook for 8-10 minutes until softened. Stir in the curry paste for 1 minute.
- Add the roasted pumpkin, all but 3 tbsp of the coconut milk and the stock. Bring to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, then fish out the lemongrass. Cool for a few minutes, then whizz until smooth with a hand blender, or in a large blender in batches. Return to the pan to heat through, seasoning with salt, pepper, lime juice and sugar, if it needs it.
- Serve drizzled with the remaining coconut milk and scattered with chopped fresh coriander and roasted pumpkin seeds.