Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Creamy Curried Chicken Pasta

My mam used to make this for me and my sister using a Continental Packet Mix and I inturn used to make it for my children.  It was always such an easy and tasty comfort dish - perfect for a mid week dinner.

Struggling to change meal plans at the last moment with the fact that I gained 2 extra children due to a student free day on Wednesday (not that I mind at all having extra people at anytime) I decided to try and re-create this dish that I always remember getting excited about as a child.

Surprisingly enough - it turned out ok.  Ok enough that the four teenagers were sitting at the table devouring mouthful after mouthful without hesitation.  The combination of the mild curry powder and coconut flavoured evaporated milk with simple vegetables chicken and of course the ultimate comfort ingredient pasta.


 
Creamy Curried Chicken Pasta
 
Serves: 4
ProPoints Per Serve: 7
 
250 grams pasta
cooking spray
500 grams chicken breast, diced
1 brown onion chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup Lite and Creamy Coconut Flavoured Evaporated Milk

Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling water as per packet instructions.  Drain.

Coat a large frying pan with cooking spray and cook chicken, in batches, over medium heat until browned.  Remove and repeat with remaining chicken.

Recoat frying pan and add onion and carrots.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 - 8 minutes or until softened.  Return chicken to the pan.  Add peas and cook for a further 5 minutes. 

Sprinkle mixture with curry powder and sugar, cook stirring until well mixed for 1 - 2 minutes.  Add evaporated milk and mix to combine.  Add pasta to mixture, gently tossing to combine, cook until pasta is heated through.

Serve immediately.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Coriander Chilli and Cashew Mussels

I cannot actually say this is my dish, proudly the contents of this post are brought to you by my husband, Noel.
 
Mussels are a fairly new ingredient that we use in our kitchen, our tastebuds only developed to liking them over say the last 5 years prior to that touching them was only done by using a long stick LOL.  For me it was the same with oysters.... Oh well they do say flavours develop with age!
 
One of the perfect things about mussels is that they cook in next to no time meaning that any dish can be on the table in literally under 15 minutes depending on how decadent or basic you wish the flavourings to be.
 
We had recently purchased a carton of a favourite dip (I guess you could use any flavour dip of course) and forever looking for new flavours to cook with it was decided that the dip mixed with coconut milk would be an interesting taste on gathering many flavours that we love together.
 
Whilst these were very nice and would definitely be a hit as an entree or casual dinner with friends I still prefer a tomato maybe tomato chilli flavour base for my mussels. 
 


Coriander Chilli and Cashew Mussels
 
Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 7
 
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Coriander Chilli and Cashew Dip
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and sliced
1 cup lite coconut milk
1 kilogram Blue mussels, bearded and rinsed

Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok until just about smoking.  Reduce heat to medium and add onion cooking for 3 - 4 minutes or soft.

Add coriander dip, stirring, and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Add the chilli and coconut milk stirring for a further 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Increase heat to high.  Add mussels and quickly toss to coat.  Cover and steam for 2 - 3 minutes or until the majority of mussels have opened.  Remove lid and toss continuously for a further 2 minutes..

Serve immediately.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Massaman Beef Stir Fry

As you can see I am getting back into blogging... it's always something that seems to miss out when I get busy and excess time is just not available.
 
Thai is an amazing cuisine... it produces flavoursome food in matters of minutes using very fresh ingredients and having a wide variety of thai concentrated pastes available to purchase in supermarkets.  While I am not a fan of premade and much prefer to make my own pastes, especially for curries, I will be the first to admit that they make cooking so much easier for someone that has been time poor of late - ME!!
 
Massaman is a milder yet robust curry sauce, one of the thai curries that my kids enjoy as it's not fiery.  Normally as a curry it would have a thicker sauce and be made with beef and potatoes.  But as stir fry it was still full of flavour and of course, a quick dish to prepare.
 
The garnish of toasted coconut added a little extra crunch and enhanced the spice flavours of this delicious sauce. 


Massaman Beef Stir Fry
(recipe adapted from Taste.com.au)
 
Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 7
 
1 tablespoon peanut oil
750g beef rump steak, cut into thin strips
1 red capsicum, cut into thin strips
1 large red onion, halved, cut into thick wedges
½ cup Massaman Curry Paste
½ cup water
125ml light coconut milk
60g baby spinach leaves
125 grams bean sprouts
30 grams Shredded coconut, toasted
fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
 
Heat half the oil in a wok over high heat until just smoking. Stir-fry half the beef for 2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef.

Add remaining oil. Stir-fry capsicum and onion for 3 minutes or until onion softens slightly. Transfer to the bowl.

Stir-fry curry paste for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add water, Stir in the coconut milk for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in the beef mixture, spinach and bean sprouts. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until spinach just wilts.

Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Serve with steamed rice, adding 4ppts per ½ cup serve.



(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Asian Pork Chops



I have another secret love and that is asian food with pork as the main meat.  These Asian Pork Chops totally hit that spot as not only were the flavours asian inspired but they were wonderful tender and very easy to prepare, cook and plate.
 
I have a love of sesame and ginger infused soy - it just screams basic Asian cuisine.  Served simply with steamed rice and vegetables this was a perfect mid week wonder.
  
  
Asian Pork Chops
(Recipe adapted from WW Cook The Classics Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 6

1 tablespoons kecap manis
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 x 200 gram lean pork cutlets, fat trimmed
Cooking spray
chopped coriander for garnish

Combine kecap manis, marmalade, ginger and oil in a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add pork and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 3 hours.

Spray a large non stick pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat.

Remove pork from marinade and reserve. Add pork and cook for 3 – 5 minutes each side or until browned and cooked through (to your liking). Remove from

To the same pan add remaining marinade and cook, stirring, for 1- 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Drizzle pork with pan juices, sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with 0ppt steamed vegetables and rice. Add 4ppts per ½ cup serving of cooked rice.



(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sweet and Sour Jalapeno Poppers

I know I have mentioned this before but I, we, both of us LOVE Poppers.
 
This recipe from Taste of Home not only intrigued me but definitely intrigued my tastebuds from the first mouthful.  Sweetness of the brown sugar, saltiness of the proscuitto and the tingle from the chilli combined make for a delicious mouthful.
 
The best things about Poppers is that they are not only easy to make, they are quick and perfect for entertaining or even just a quick snack. 



Sweet and Sour Jalapeno Poppers
(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)

Makes : 16
ProPoints per Popper: 1

8 Jalapeno peppers
125 grams Philadelphia Extra Light Cream Cheese
60 grams grated tasty cheese
1 teaspoon dried thyme
freshly grated black pepper
8 thin slices (100 grams) prosciutto or parma ham, cut in half lengthways
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon chilli powder

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds, set aside.

In a small bowl beat cheeses, thyme and pepper until well blended. Spoon into pepper halves. Wrap a half strip of prosciutto around each pepper half.

Combine brown sugar and chilli; coat peppers with sugar mixture.

Place on prepared baking tray. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and prosciutto crispy.

Serve immediately.

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chicken Parma Meatballs with Pasta

I love it when anyone in my family tag me on food that they have seen posted on Facebook.  I know why they do it as it's like waving a red flag to a bull... it's like "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED".
 
Alex tagged me in a post by 4 Ingredients from one of their non-4 Ingredients books ""4 Play" in the recipe Chicken Parma Meatballs and I am glad she did.  This was such a novel concept - not unlike the meatballs that you get on a Sub at Subway but obviously made with chicken mince.
 
The original recipe is for bite sized balls perfect for entertaining but I wanted to make this into a meal we could have for dinner so what better to go with Parma meatballs than to serve it with pasta.
 
The meatballs were very tender, in fact melt in your mouth tender.  The slight flavour of cheese in each mouthful of meatball was delicate but enticing especially being smothered in a thick tomato sauce and molten cheese.
 
Winner winner chicken dinner I say..............


Chicken Parma Balls
(Recipe adapted from 4 Ingredients - 4 Play Cookbook)
 
Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 12

1 kilogram lean chicken mince
4 slices wholegrain bread made into breadcrumbs
1/2 red onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt
freshly ground black pepper
700 gram bottle Passata
250 grams spiral pasta or pasta of your choice

Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a large bowl mix the mince, breadcrumbs, onion, parsley and half the cheese. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Using your hands shape into 30 balls and place on a lightly greased ceramic baking dish.  Brush each ball with Passata.

Bake in oven uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to packet directions.  Drain and keep warm.

Remove dish from oven and brush meatballs with more sauce and pour remaining Passata around the baking dish.  Scatter with remaining cheese and bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.

Serve with pasta and 0ppt steamed vegetables.


(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pork Cutlets with Pear and Maple Sauce

I know that the tradtion is to serve Apple Sauce with pork dishes especially Roast Pork but pears are becoming a very popular replacement. 

Many recipes have roasted pears, using the nice Beurré Bosc pears which become very soft and creamy flavoured when roasted.  I saw this recipe which combined pears, maple syrup and fresh thyme and was immediately excited by the thought of combining all three flavours - three of my favourite flavours.
 
The pork cutlets, were easy to cook so the hero of the dish was the Pear and Maple Sauce.  And a hero it was... tasty and also very easy to make.  The recipe called for the sauce to be blended at the end of the cooking time but I was impressed with the chunky rustic look and left it that way.

 
 
Pork Cutlets with Pear and Maple Sauce
(Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Cook The Classics Cookbook)
 
Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 8
 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3 pears, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup chicken stock
cooking spray
4 x 150 gram pork cutlets, fat trimmed
4 carrots, cut into batons
2 cups frozen peas
 
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add pears, maple syrup and stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until pears have softened.  If desired, process pear mixture in a food processor until smooth.
 
Lightly spray a large non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat.  Cook pork for 5 minutes each side or until browned and cooked through.  Remove from pan and allow to rest.
 
Meanwhile, boil, steam or microwave peas and carrots until tender.  Drain.  Serve pork with carrots, peas and pear sauce.  Add an addition 3 propoints if served with a medium baked potato.
 
 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tomato and Chilli Jam

I really enjoy Chilli Jam, especially served with a nice juicy steak!!  As I mentioned we have been having some really enjoyable steak recently so I thought I would try my hand at making my own chilli jam.
 
Variations of this relish are numerous, some actually resembling jelly and others being more relish like.  I love The Gourmet Sauce Company's Chilli Jam which is relish like and would buy jars of it every time I went to Tasmania with work.
 
I came across this recipe on Taste.com and it looked basic enough to experiment with.  To my surprise it was nice. Slightly sweet but a nice consistency however I woulf prefer more of a chilli kick so next time I am thinking that I would add one small bullet chilli also.
 

 

Tomato and Chilli Jam
(recipe sourced from Taste.com)
 
Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 2
 
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 long red chillies, finely chopped
400 gram can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons fish sauce

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chilli. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened.

Add tomato, sugar, vinegar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low.

Simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture has thickened.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Creamy Potato and Bacon Bake

We have been buying some really nice pieces of steak of late so nothing better than it being chargrilled and served with some yummy accompaniments. 
 
Potato Bakes, are a perfect side dish, one that so many people enjoy.  There are many variations, one of our favourites is a non creamy potato bake with also has carrot as a layer, Potato Carrot and Onion Bake which my mam used to make when I was a child and I still make to this day.
 
This Creamy Potato and Bacon Bake sounds sings comfort food.  Right down to the last morish mouthful of soft potatoes mixed with bacon and onions enveloped in a thick creamy sauce this dish is a legend in it's own casserole dish. 
 

Creamy Potato and Bacon Bake

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 5

cooking spray
175 grams Weight Watchers Bacon, diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 brown onion, diced
300 mls reduced fat thickened cream
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
60 grams grated reduced fat tasy cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook bacon for 2 - 3 minutes until slight crisp.  Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.

Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.

Combine potatoes, onions and bacon in a large bowl.  Place mixture into casserole dish.

In a small jug combine cream, mustard, stock powder, thyme and pepper to taste.  Pour over potato mixture.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cover casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for a further 20 - 30 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and golden on top.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cheesy Jalepeno Poppers


My first experience with Poppers was in a restaruant called the Drunken Admiral where they are called "Depth Chargers" on the menu. "Depth Chargers - guaranteed to kill all your seamen! Fresh fat chillies, seeded, filled with garlic n' herb cheese, crispy fried with a sticky blackberry dip" I was in heaven and have to say these are ordered everytime I dine there.

Jalepeno poppers would have to be one of my favourite yet guilty pleasures - the ultimate party food, entree or even sneaky snack. There are so many variations for these little tasty morsels - some are battered and deep fried, some have various fillings but this recipe is what I consider to be the ultimate flavour combination.

The three cheeses mixed together with a hint of garlic and chilli enveloped in a fresh softened jalepeno which is baked not fried so has a clean crisp flavour without all the grease.

Definitely a brilliant flavour explosion for your tastebuds.... if you haven't tried one I am sure you will be surpised... not only are these quick and easy to make but these little poppers do pack a punch!!


Cheesy Jalepeno Poppers
 
Serves: 6 (2 poppers)
ProPoints per serve: 3 
 
cooking spray
250 grams Weight Watchers bacon cut into strips
115 grams reduced fat cream cheese, softened
60 grams grated 50% reducted fat tasty cheese
60 grams grated Colby cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
freshly ground black pepper
6 larg fresh jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy.

In a large bowl, combine the bacon, cheeses, salt, garlic powder, chilli powder and black pepper, mixing well.

Spoon about 2 tablespoonfuls into each pepper half.   Roll gently in bread crumbs.

Place on a prepared baking tray. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes for spicy flavor, 25 minutes for medium and 35 minutes for mild.

Serve immediately.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)


Friday, June 13, 2014

Broccoli and Brussels Sprout Gratin

I haven’t really ever ventured out the square when it comes to Brussels Sprouts – I normally only ever serve them with a roast and gravy. I love Brussels Sprouts but sadly not everyone else in the household is as big of a fan.

We love Cauliflower au Gratin and must say it is one dish that is on the menu frequently. So it was a no brainer for me to give this recipe a shot as cheese sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs do win friends and influence people at our dinner table. Just wasn’t quite sure how they would take to the cauliflower being replaced by green vegetables.

Surprisingly it was enjoyed all which saddened me as I was hoping to take some for lunch tomorrow.



Broccoli and Brussels Sprout Gratin
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Magazine July 2014)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 3

1 ½ cups skim milk
1 ½ tablespoons cornflour
1 ½ tablespoons water
2 teaspoons seeded mustard
60 grams 50% reduced fat grated tasty cheese
salt
ground white pepper
300 grams broccoli, cut into florets
12 Brussels sprouts
1 slice wholemeal/wholegrain bread
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Dissolve the cornflour in the water. Stir into the milk along with the mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 – 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Steam the broccoli and Brussels sprouts over a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Transfer the broccoli and Brussels sprouts to a prepared baking dish.

Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli and sprouts.

Place the bread in a food processor. Process until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle on top of cheese sauce. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chilli Barbecue Sauce

A beautifully chargrilled steak needs to be accompanied by a nice sauce.  Normally Noel and I would choose a Creamy Blue Cheese or Creamy Peppercorn sauce, however sometimes our favourite purchased sauce, Byron Bay Coconut Chilli Sauce.  Tonight however I wanted to make something totally different so off on my little mission I went.

Upon flicking pages of a gorgeous little cookbook I was given, Mayonnaise Hollandaise Bernaise - A Cook's Book of Sauces, I came across this Chilli Barbecue Sauce recipe that was not only quick to make but very easy.

Seriously just by adding spices to purchased Barbecue sauce and Sweet Chilli Sauces the outcome was delicious.  A hint of indian, smokiness of the paprika lacing a barbecue sauce with chilli undertones was actually really suited to the chargrilled steak we had for dinner.


Chilli Barbecue Sauce
(Mayonnaise Hollandaise Bernaise - The Cook's Book of Sauces)

Serves: 6
ProPoints per serve: 1

20 grams reduced fat butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup ready-made barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the cumin, coriander and paprika and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the barbecue sauce, sweet chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.

Serve with barbecued steak, lamb or hamburgers.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yorkshire Puddings

YES I know... it's definitely time I posted our Yorkshire Pudding recipe!!

Many of you who know us are aware that the humble Yorkshire Pudding, while it is such a simple addition to a roast beef, would have to be one of our ALL TIME FAVOURITE FOODS to eat.  They have caused arguments, tears and smiles!!  Yes I am being very serious arguments have been born from the last one being eaten especially if it is going into to someone elses mouth.
 
Yorkshire Puddings are a savoury batter puff served traditonally with Roast Beef.  Some prefer to make it in a large pan and cut into pieces others used muffin tins.  The mixture can also be used to make Toad in the Hole, another dish that I am very fond of from my childhood days.


The second argument is who's pudding is better??  Yep you read correctly - who's is better!!  With both Noel and I being of British origin but obviously from two different countries there is a long standing arguements with some families - on the top of the list is Yorkshire Puddings and Mushy Peas.  Both mams make them differently and at times Noel and I have been able to achieve a happy medium between the two styles of cooking.  Being Welsh we grew up with a dense cake like pudding whereas Noel's English upbringing had him eating light and at times hollow centred pudding... either way they are good!!  Our House of Murray serves them light and airy and lots of them ......
 
The three key tricks to making these deliciously light and fluffy is:
  • have a very hot oven
  • ensure that the oil is sizzling hot
  • DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR


Yorkshire Puddings
 
Serves: 12
ProPoints per serve: 3 
 
285 ml skim milk
115 grams plain flour
3 eggs
pinch of salt
white pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil


Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl with an electric whisk or hand beater until all combine and mixture is light and fluffy.  Set aside in a cool area for 30 minutes before using the batter.
 
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celsius.
 
Put 2 teaspoons oil in each well of a 12 capacity muffin tray.
 
Place in oven and heat until the oil is very hot.
 
Working quickly, open oven door and slid the tray out halway.  Carefully pour even amounts of mixture into the muffin holes. 
 
Close the door and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden.  DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR.
 
Serve immediately with roast beef, vegetables and gravy.



(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Roasted Pumpkin and Carrot Soup

Pumpkin soup is our second favourite soup in the Murray house.. the first being Chicken and Sweet Corn and then Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin was on special this week so I have two large pumpkins sitting on the bench top just staring at me and me staring back wonderful what is something else besides good ol' pumpkin that I could make with them. 

I came across this recipe with an Indian inspired influence on the flavours and thought well we all love pumpkin soup and we all love Indian so it should be a winner - right?

Not only did it still have the homely thick texture of pumpkin soup but it was laced with the undertones of a mild curry which went together perfectly.  I didn't add chilli while cooking as I wanted to assess the flavours.  To be honest it doesn't need the chilli unless you would like a little extra "kick". 

This soup is well worth trying.....

 
Roasted Pumpkin and Carrot Soup
(recipe adapted from Taste.com)
 
Serves: 12
ProPoints per serve: 1
 
2 kilogram Kent pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 1cm pieces
1.5 kilograms carrots, peeled, cut into 1cm pieces
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
4 brown onions, halved, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ - ½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
8 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
4 cups water

Preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius.
 
Line several baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Place pumpkin and carrot in lined pan. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of oil and toss to coat. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until golden and tender.
 
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion. Season with salt. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom and chilli powder, if desired. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until aromatic and the mustard seeds start to pop.
 
Add the pumpkin, carrot, stock and water to the saucepan. Increase heat to medium. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
 
Transfer the pumpkin mixture to the jug of a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture.
 
Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until heated through. Ladle among serving bowls.  Serve with low fat cream or low fat natural yoghurt if you would like a creamier soup.
 
 

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