Saturday morning I woke up to a dark cloudy sky..... One would think that’s a gloomy day…
But I was exhilarated!! The dark clouds were a promise of arrival of the long awaited rain..I love rain!!
Rain has always been magical to me, it cheers me up, it nourishes my soul...when it falls the sound of it calms me down, making me happy, drowning away all the worries in it’s melodious sound and the sweet smell of earth. Pure Bliss!!
It makes everything look so beautiful and happy, even a city like Mumbai that is usually full of hustle & bustle seems to take a break and enjoy this weather.
The view outside the our home window is gorgeous...the rain drops are dancing away happily, the contours of buildings & people have vanished in the misty drizzle the only sound that can be heard now is the resounding pitter-patter of rain and rain droplets tapping against the windows. The initial gentle hum of the drizzle turned into the roar of a downpour.
I drank in those beautiful rain moments standing near the window, oblivious to everything else in the world for a few minutes, with R besides me.
Then me and R both started talking about how much fun it used to be to walk in the rain. A wave of nostalgia washed over, bringing back fond childhood memories. Sailing paper boats in the gushing water, getting drenched to the skin in the love of nature, jumping in the muddy water splashing water all around...
We both looked at each other and smiled mischievously...whoever said we could not do it now! And off we went to truly enjoy our rainy day. R made some of his famous ginger tea that we filled up in a thermos and went down in the garden for a walk in the rain.
We loved the feeling of walking together holding hands, getting completely drenched in the rain and not caring..wading through the water, shoes squishing . Everyone including the flora and fauna seemed to be happy, the plants and trees were swaying happily glistening, washed in the shower, their thirst quenched. A feeling of absolute bliss came over as the rain came down on me..It felt so good!!
A good one hour walk later, we sat in the garden gazebo sipping hot tea. After a while we went back home, took a nice long hot shower and felt rejuvenated! It was also the best time for a nice hot soup. So, I made us a roasted pumpkin & walnut soup, that we ate with warm toasted bread, watching the wonderful rain. J
½ kg Pumpkin
2 tbsp Olive Oil
4-5 pods of garlic (peeled)
1 medium sized Onion
Mixed Italian Herbs (Dried)
Regular Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh Thyme & Oregano
Vegetable Stock/Chicken Stock (Optional)
Fresh Coriander Leaves, Toasted Walnut to garnish
½ cup Toasted Walnuts
1) Remove the seeds, wash them, dry them and fry them in 1 tbsp oil and keep aside. Sprinkle a little salt over them. (These will be used for garnishing later) They are quite tasty on their own…I eat a few while making the soup J
2) Cut the pumpkin in approx 2 inch wide and ½ inch thick pieces.(Having equal sized pieces help in even cooking) Place them all spread evenly in a baking dish/tray. Sprinkle some sea salt, dried herbs, add garlic & drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Bake it in the oven at 180 degrees for about 35-40 mins or until the pumpkin is cooked. (Test by inserting a knife or a fork)
3) In the meanwhile, chop a onion in juliennes and sauté it in 1 tbsp olive oil on a slow flame till translucent with a pinch of salt.
4) Once the pumpkin is baked and cooled, remove the skin and puree the pumpkin with walnuts & onion in a processor/blender.
5) Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pot/pan and add the puree to it. Add the vegetable (you can use chicken stock also) to it and bring it to a gentle boil. Add a little bit of water if required and especially if you are not using any kind of stock.
6) Add chopped herbs (thyme & oregano), salt & pepper to taste & let it simmer for about 10 mins.
7) Serve them hot or warm.
8) I served them with a tiny swirl of cream, a few drops of flavourful oil that I gathered from the baking dish that I used for roasting the pumpkin, a small piece of walnut & coriander flower.
The soup is earthy, with a hint of smoky sweetness as a result of roasting the pumpkin, the walnuts give it the just enough richness and the garnish gives a burst of flavours with each spoonful! J