Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Prawns and Chickpeas

, from Issue #49.
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Moroccan Pumpkin Soup with Prawns and Chickpeas

Accompany this with crusty bread and you have a complete meal in a bowl. The aromatic combination of the Moroccan spice mix works well with root vegetables and any lentils.


1½ kilograms crown pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Moroccan spice mix
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To assemble
2 x 400 gram tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
16 raw peeled prawns, tail on
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Moroccan spice mix
plain yoghurt
fresh coriander


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave 24 long strips off the pumpkin and set them aside.

Cut the remaining pumpkin into small chunks and place on a baking tray. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season well. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tender, turning once. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, carrot and cinnamon stick with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook for ten minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water if needed.

Add the garlic, spice mix and the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the roasted pumpkin and the stock and season. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon stick and in batches blend the soup in a food processor until smooth. Tip back into the saucepan and add one tin of the chickpeas and heat until hot.

Place the strips of pumpkin on a baking tray and cook for 4-6 minutes until they look dry and crispy, but don’t let them get too brown. Place on a cooling rack.

To serve: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the chickpeas with 1 teaspoon of the spice mix until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl.

Add the prawns to the same pan and sprinkle with the remaining spice mix and a little salt and cook until golden and just cooked through, then add to the chickpeas.

To serve: Divide the soup between bowls and top with the prawns, chickpeas and the pumpkin chips. Drizzle with a little yoghurt, freshly ground pepper and coriander. Serves 4-6

Pantry note: Moroccan spice mix is available from supermarkets and food stores.