Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pumpkin and ginger soup with coconut and chili - plus your chance to win a Soup + Co soupmaker

Ok so the other day I asked on my Facebook page what everyone's favourite soup was. And damn were there some delicious answers! But the one that kept popping up the most had to do with pumpkin. And I concur.

There's something about its sweet savouriness and perfect texture that gets me every time. And if I can spice it up, more's the better!

I concocted this little number in Tefal's new Soup and Co, as I was incredibly fortunate enough to get sent one to try. One for me, one for my readers, they said. I was intrigued. Normally I shy away from "all-in-one" appliances in favour of good, old-fashioned pots and pans. I don't own a stand mixer, I have an ancient blender and everything else I do by hand. Buttons and whizbangs and whatever just don't normally excite me.

However. I looked it up. It makes soup with the touch of a button. It then blends the soup (if you want), turns itself off and keeps itself hot for 40 minutes after. An eyebrow was raised in interest.

Apparently when it's not being the world's most helpful soup appliance, it also makes smoothies, hot chocolate, fruit compote and crushes ice, among other things.

And best of all? It cleans itself! I was hooked. 

There's nothing more annoying than having a sleeping (or near sleeping) baby on you when your pot boils over/needs stirring/needs turning off or down/finishes cooking or a thousand other things it does when you can't tend to it immediately. I am sold on the idea that I throw the ingredients in, and the Soup and Co does the rest of the work. Kinda like a slow cooker, only... not slow. While I love the idea of setting aside an hour or so to chop and prepare and simmer and generally enjoy the process, I just honestly don't have that time at the moment. I'm busy. And tired. And this thing cleans itself.

And the "keep warm" function? Goodbye eating cold soup, mum-style!

Oh, and if you're so inclined, it can be used to cook and blend baby food. I'm probs gonna marry it.

It has three programs for soup and other cooking/cleaning, and a regular blender function with five speeds and a pulse option. And a little ice-crush button.

And I have a dirty bench. Moving on.

You can keep track of the temperature, and the time remaining. It makes gentle whirring noises as it heats up and will scare the bejesus out of you when you've left it to its own devices and you're working away on something else and it starts the blend cycle automatically. Although that might just be me.

Soup in 25 minutes. Wanna try?

500g chopped pumpkin
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Fresh chili or chili flakes to taste
a pinch each of salt and sugar
Enough stock to barely cover the veggies
100ml coconut cream
coriander, to garnish


1. Put everything but coconut cream and coriander into the Soup and Co.

2. Put the lid on. Press the "P" button. Press "OK"

3. Go find something else to do until it beeps. Pour in the coconut cream and use the blender function for a second or two to combine. 

4. Serve in a warm bowl with a swirl of coconut cream and a sprinkle of coriander.

Oh, and it also has a handy-dandy removable piece in the lid, so when you forget the garlic (what kind of monstrous soup has no garlic?) You can pop it in while it's running and put the lid back on like nothing ever happened...

And because I was overly excited, I've been making smoothies in it every five minutes. This one is extra fun!

1 large banana
100ml coconut cream
handful of pineapple
splash of pineapple juice (you can use the canned stuff)
pinch brown sugar
squeeze of lime


1. Place all in Soup and Co, but break up the banana into bits first.

2. Blend on low speed 2 30 seconds, then speed 5 for 30-45 seconds.

3. Make a stupid joke about getting caught in the rain.


To win one of these beauties for yourself (the appliance, not the smoothie), all you need to do is leave a comment telling me about a time when something stopped you from checking a pot and what disaster ensued. Me? I nearly set fire to the house with a frying pan of burning oil, and once I left a hotplate on for 12 hours... no biggie.

The story we find most interesting/horrific gets the prize, valued at $299. No more soup disasters for you!

Competition closes Monday July 23 at 5pm. Australian residents only, please.

Please make sure you are contactable, as winners will be notified by email.

*Disclaimer: I was sent a Tefal Soup and Co to keep, and one to give away. That's all. Over-enthusiasm is all mine. Told you I was tired.


  1. I didn't realise it could do cold stuff too, very cool (pun intended).

  2. There is a reason you don't see many tea towels in my foodie photos. I have a habit of leaving them where I use them which is usually on the stove.... on a recently used hot plate. I have almost burnt down the house more times than I can remember. Thank gawds for smoke alarms, right?

  3. Well, disaster can ensue when I am standing there checking the pot but I was making white sauce for lasagne one day and being all cocky because I'd made it once and it worked so I was obviously an expert and didn't need to refer to Mum's instructions. So I put my milk, cream, cheese, garlic & pepper in the saucepan and gave it a few stirs, snuck some melted cheese into my mouth when I was checking on the progress and went to get the cornflour & milk paste that Mum's instructions clearly stated to get ready in Step 1. Oops. Not sure how you can misplace cornflour but it ended up being on top of the fridge, not in the pantry (I suspect I'd probably put it there when I started the cooking process and forgot) and by the time I found the cornflour, made my paste and went to stir it into my sauce and was greeted with a curdled, congealed mess with little burnt air bubble textures all over the top.

  4. With 3 kids under 4 dinner always seems to be running late at our house so one night I saw we had some great ingredients for stew and decided to go for it, stews were one of those low fuss things right? I was tired and just started throwing stuff in the pot which is my fave way to cook :) as the lentils and barley started to swell my pot over flowed all over my cook top after I walked away for a minute to sit down. Not wanting to lose it just yet I cleaned the mess and divided my stew into 2 pots and continued. Not learning much for the first mishap I walked off and forgot about it. I returned to a smokey kitchen, ruined pots and an odd burnt stew/soup thing that I served anyway because it was almost bedtime for the kids. My idea was to make a low fuss dinner but ended in a night of disaster and costed me my two favorite cooking pots!

  5. Mademoiselle SlimaliciousJuly 17, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    My kitchen disaster: once I left eggs to boil for about 2 hours! When I finally remembered and found them they were black/brown all over, small and hard rock, all the water in the pot was gone. I'm not sure you want me to start talking about the smell in the kitchen...
    Ever since, I put a timer on when boiling eggs! Lesson learnt!

    Actually I've another more recent kitchen disaster. I wanted to make chocolate mouss last year which i haven't done for years. I went and bought the best Lindt cooking chocolate I could find (which I thought was not cheap compared to most brands, anyway). The problem occured when melting the chocolate, it completely coagulated. I added some (cold) milk, it made it worse etc.
    Put it in the bin, went back to the shops accross the road, bought a new block and tried again.
    Same issue again. I started crying in frustration and ashamed of my inability to "melt chocolate"! How hard can it be?
    Anyway, I ended up throwing everything together (coagulated chocolate and eggs white) in a mixer, added flour and butter and ended making chocolate cake instead. It tasted okay!

    Thanks for a great giveaway! I've been a Tefal fan since my chilhood (made in France!).

  6. I burned the heck out of a pan and filled the house with smoke after I forgot about a pan of black beans cooking on the stove. (I was distracted by something really important and worthwhile) (Ok, I was in the loungeroom playing The Sims) (Oh the SHAME). I had to open all the windows and doors in the house to try to clear the smoke. It was winter. It  was night time. I learned my lesson. The lesson being, play The Sims in the kitchen.

  7. I was sterilising some dummies on the stove when my first bub was little and in a haze of sleep deprivation then left hubby in charge of my sleeping bub while I did some grocery shopping.  While I was out hubby sat on the couch watching TV for awhile before eventually wondering in to the kitchen to discover the small saucepan boiled dry and plastic dummies melted into the pan!  Amazingly I was able to save the pan - alas the dummies were caput and I had to go back out to the shops to buy some more!

  8. I was thinking I didn't have a story but indeedy I do... I filled the house with black smoke after I went home at lunchtime, heated my soup up on the stove, ate it, but forgot to turn the stove off.. And happily went back to work. Luckily the other half came home and opened the door to smoke everywhere and fixed my mess up!! Whoops, I also burnt some laminate in the process.... Fun times!! 

  9. We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation and recently bought a new stand alone cooker, there was a special on that if you registered you received a box with six beautiful new pots and pans. The box arrived and I was delirious with excitement! New pots, finally I could get rid of the horrible old ones we had inherited from an old landlord six years ago in London! I only had the chance to cook once or twice with my new pans before we pulled out the old kitchen. Not before I nearly burnt down the old kitchen and almost completely ruined my new middle sized pot making porridge for my youngest. SO ANNOYING to burn a pot, especially a brand new me because I was distracted by the builder needing me to move my car so he could park in our driveway and offload the van and them the skip truck arrived to collect our old full skip bin and deliver a new one. Wow, I was so distracted by renovation stuff I nearly burnt down the back of the house. My poor new pot. Burnt to a crisp. Sigh.

  10. Haha! For me it's been rather frequent lately with a newborn and a toddler! My brain is absent! Pots boil over, pans creak and crack with nothing in them! Ooops!
    The worst was cooking a perfect lot of cookies in the oven... getting them out and putting them onto the hotplates to cool (without realising the hotplate had been left on!!) Of course I started to smell something burning and went to check the oven... no, it's was fine... only one smoke was billowing from the tray did I realise I'd burnt my perfect cookies without even having them in the oven!! Stove top disaster!!Would LOVE an even easier way to make soup - and my two year old is a little obsessed with smoothies! So it's perfect!! :) x

  11. I had some beef slow cooking for a pie I'd already made 100 times  while bathing the kids and somehow managed to burn the bottom of my saucepan, quite badly. And ruin dinner. Not all was lost - I learnt that Coco- Cola is great for fixing burnt pans... Thats why I don't drink the stuff!!

  12. Maddie (colourmethere)July 17, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    My story:
    The Day Our Kitchen Almost Burned Down (also known as A Blushing Teen's Brush with The Firies)

    My Dad was always the chef of our family. He loved to cook and was always trying something new. Our meals would vary from ox tongue soup to homemade sushi to obscure Russian dishes all in the space of a week. On this particular night, he was experimenting with making tempura batter. Maybe if it hadn't been for the distraction of his favourite computer program Leisure Suit Larry (it was big in the day), I'm pretty sure our kitchen wouldn't have ended up as a charred shadow of its former self. As it was, the distraction teamed with blistering hot oil resulted in red hot flames and utter chaos in our household. 

    My Mum clearly watched too many American dramas because she was running around the house yelling "Dial 911 Dial 911!!!" as my Dad was dashing in and out of the kitchen trying variously to dampen the flames with a tea towel and attempting to turn off the stovetop buttons. 

    A very self-conscious teen, I had just stepped out of the shower with a small towel wrapped around myself when I was swept up in this unfolding drama. My mum ushered all four of us kids out of harm's way just as the fire brigade arrived. Here I was in next to nothing while our house was invaded by a contingent of big burly firemen. It seemed like hours until everyone had left and the now black and slightly soggy kitchen was returned to normality but was probably only about 15 minutes. 

    At the time, I was far less concerned about the state of the kitchen than I was that these SIX! BURLY! FIREMEN! could see my (to my own mind) almost naked body!! Oh the horror!!!! It was a night that will forever be burned into my memory (puns are always intended) and serves to remind me never to leave hot oil unattended (or to play dodgy 80s computer games while cooking).

  13. It was a dark and stormy night...... (no seriously, I like my Mother-in-law)... but neither she nor my (now) Father-in-law particularly approved of 

  14. Are you serious? You know I need this gadget.

    Sadly I have years and years of this disasters. Starting from when I made rock biscuits - well they were meant to be just defrosted and warmed up jam doughnuts in the microwave, but if you are lazy and just hit the 10 minute button rather than typing in 30 seconds - biscuits it is.

    I have boiled carrots until the smoke alarms went off all three of them, but I did get the washing hung out.

    I have had so many dishes curdle at the last minute and the family refuse to eat them with the gunky bits floating around. 

    The soup & co needs to be rehomed to my place asap.

  15. When my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I moved in together before we were married, his folks were none too happy.  They were never mean, but they found ways to show us that they did not approve.  They wouldn't sleep under our roof and when we visited them, we were given separate rooms.  

    Knowing I was in for the long haul, I was desperate to please them.  One Sunday evening we learned that they would be in the area, so we invited them to an impromptu dinner.

    I scoured the freezer looking for something to cook and found some chicken thighs - I could manage Chicken and Mushroom Risotto.  Even better luck, I'd just scored a cheap pressure cooker at a discount shop.  I'd impress them with my culinary prowess and my charming flexibility.  

    WRONG.  Turns out I am frightened of things under great pressure - I don't even like putting air in my car tires.  .
    As the pressure cooker started to hiss and spit, I lost my nerve.  Turned it off.  Released the steam and examined the pot.  Not much change there - rice still crunchy.  

    Quick! Put it back on.  Glass of wine.  Cheese and crackers.  Schmooze the in-laws.   

    DISASTER.  This time when it started to hiss and spit, it also started to smoke.  I'd burned our dinner, ruined the pressure cooker and had a gargantuan gourmet fiasco in front of my (now) Mother-in-law.

    Those two beautiful people ate my disgusting burnt flavoured risotto - insisting that we could salvage some off the top.  It was a lovely act of kindness to a very insecure young lady.

    Mind you, we still had separate beds until we married the next year!

    P.S.  Sorry for my first post - itchy trigger finger!

  16. Hello,
    I blame my cooking disaster solely on sleep deprivation. I was trying to juggle a cuddly newborn whilst cooking lentil soup when a Neighbour in the upstairs appartment walked past my kitchen and kindly offered to look after my babe for 15 minutes whilst I finished cooking. I graciously accepted her offer and took bub up to her apartment a few minutes later. We sat down, had a chat, had a tea, even had a little snack before my Neighbour reminded me that the reason I was at her place was so I could finish my cooking. I raced back down to my apartment to discover a thick smoky haze and the most revolting burnt lentil smell ever. I opened up all the windows, soaked my pot in water and quickly retreated to my babe and Neighbour to finish my tea. We ended up eating porridge for dinner that night!

  17. Oh gosh, yes. And what a story I could tell. Not the greatest of stories to tell, but for the purposes of being in with a chance I think it's contest-worthy!

    4 years ago I was in love with the absolutely love.of.my.life. Needless to say things were running smooth as one could hope. Until one night.

    We (I) cooked dim sims. The cheapest, nastiest, greasiest dim sims you could think. Only, we (I) forgot to turn off the pan.

    Think dim sims. Oil. Hot pan. Left on. Disaster to ensue.

    And disaster it did.

    Set alight. Fast forward 3 hours - I am on the front yard, showering the love of my life with the HOSE at the instructions of the wonderful lady on the other end of 000. 3 surgeries (grafting and so forth), 8 weeks in hospital due to third degree burns to 83% of his body (due to him putting the pan out with a towel - from the bathroom (think hair chemicals and so forth all.over.it), lifting the pan to take it outside and it re-ignites - gulfes him in flames), and 7 and a half months of rehabilitation.

    Albeit, things didn't work out after a further 3 years and we called it quits. We are still so close, and I class him as one of my biggest confidants.

    I like to think it is partially due to this that my love of real, proper, non greasy food was born. Thus, a Soup & Co would get the work out it deserves! 

  18. Chelcee DauscherJuly 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I would LOVE to win the new Soup and Co by Tefal as it would be enjoyed thoroughly as a shared kitchen wonder by my Mamabake sisters and me :) 

    The worst kitchen mishap I have experienced, hands down,
    resulted in my house on fire.  It started
    as a simple shallow oil fry of pappadums. 
    I was breastfeeding my bub and didn’t notice the oil in the pan until it
    burst into flames.  With bub in arms, it
    didn’t take long before I knew it was best to just get everyone out of the
    house as the cupboards caught alight in a matter of seconds (pre-fire blanket
    and fire extinguisher days & I remembered oil and water don’t mix).  In the end, over $15,000 worth of damage, but
    thanks to my neighbour’s friend who accidentally left his fire extinguisher in
    a boat, the house was saved.  I am glad
    everyone survived with only extreme embarrassment on my part.  There is nothing like meeting the neighbours
    on the street in old daggy pyjamas (I’m talking about the ones in the back of
    the closet, elastic gone, 7 yrs old, embarrassing enough just as house clothes)
    on a day you didn’t quite make it to shower...

  19. Just last week, I dutifully put on a pot of eggs to boil, so we'd have a dozen hard boiled eggs on hand for snacks, lunches etc.. (3 kids who go through eggs fast, thank god we have chooks). Anyhoo, in my wisdom, I decided right then to take the kids for a long walk, promptly forgetting about the eggs.
    About an hour later, we were returning home and I was literally 5 metres from the door when I remembered... I ran inside.. smoke everywhere of course.. I grabbed the now bone dry and blackened pot and ran for the door. We live on a farm and I hurled those babies far into the paddock... can you sayegg grenades?... They exploded everywhere! It was actually kind of fun.. but the kind of fun that shouldnt be repeated!

  20. The day my 5 year son (now 19) came home from kindergarten and told me he told 'news' to his 'childless' teacher about how babies are born from a mummy's 'gina , and come out covered in blood, and the mum screams but it doesn't really hurt cause she is happy ...the pasta I was boiling on the stove was forgotten as I continued to quizz him and he told me more gory details. Pasta was burnt and pan scorched , smoking and the fire alarm started beeping before I remembered .
    I discovered he had been watching the BBC Human Body Videos unknown to me (in my bedroom -where I watched them while ironing) . Then he started on about rainbow penis'es ('heat' vision filming) and I was so glad he didn't tell the teacher about penis video.
    The next time I saw the teacher I swear she was giving me a wicked look. Every time for the next 7 yrs maybe.
    The same kid at 12 when told we were having twins said "Man that's gonna hurt" ...

  21. New baby, first time chatiing with grandfather. Cookies in oven, baby exploded. Cookies on fire, crap all over me and granchild. Not my finest hour. Also had an incident where chestnuts exploded in oven.....blew open door and covered kitchen floor to ceiling in chestnut puree

  22. I get distracted by Facebook waaaay too many times a day. In March I got a brand new kitchen with brand new appliances. I have already put hideous burn marks on my new ceramic cooktop from too many pots boiling over while I'm "just having a quick look at what's new". *pppssshhhttt* potato starch spewing over the edge of the pot - again!

  23. My friend popped in to visit, I had onions browning, which I promptly forgot. We stepped outside so I could show her the changes to our garden and the door locked behind us. No way to get in, now way to stop the onions burning. By the time we got help, there was smoke billowing from the eaves and the neighbours called the fire brigade. So embarrassing! And made worse by sexy fireman! The house reeked of burning oil and onions for a month. Not my finest cooking hour!

  24. Here is the story of the time I had to make the firemen apology brownies.
    I was living in NYC, I went out on the town with friends, had one too many drinks, came home and wanted some good old mac and cheese.  I put the water on to boil and then, I suppose to save time, I put the pasta in the pot too.  I then proceed to take off the majority of my clothes, plop down on the couch and watch Crossroads...yes, the Britney Spears movie.The next thing I know a fireman is leaning over me saying, "Miss, are you okay?"  The fire alarm is wailing.  There is smoke everywhere.  And in the background some Britney song is playing.In my dazed and confused state I hop up and tell the fireman not to worry because the smoke detector always goes off and you just need to get the air circulating and it will stop.  So my nearly naked self gets a cereal box and starts to wave it around...keep in mind the box is open and so little cereal bits are flying everywhere.  It is at this point I think that the firemen realise that it is not smoke inhalation that is affecting me so much as alcohol.   Turns out that of course I passed out on the couch, the water boiled off, the pasta started burning, the smoke detector went off, my neighbour knocked on the door repeatedly and when no one answered she called the firemen.  The firemen came, broke down the door, found the remnants of my mac and cheese and then found me on the couch...passed out drunk, basically nude, watching Crossroads.So embarrassing.

  25. I have no excuses as we don't have kids yet, but I seem to get distracted every time I make those side dish noodles (mac&cheese, alfredo etc).

    I kid you not but I somehow manage to send the boiling milk over the pot every.single. time! No matter how carefully I follow the instructions, how quickly I turn it down, it always boils over and leaves burnt milk on the stove top and the element. That stuff is hard to clean off!!

  26. I can blame mine on my kidlet. I had some veggies boiling in really shallow water (there weren't many) for her dinner. The neighbour knocked at the door at the door for a chat, as she usually does. She's a talker. My darling little one, then 16 months, had just discovered how to shut doors and shut ours behind me, locking me outside. I'd forgotten about the veggies and was simply worried she was inside by herself. I was just about to call my husband when I remembered the veggies - uh, no, thanks. I don't want her in there when the house is ready to burn down! I had to break a window to open the back door to get back in. The veggies were waterless and burning. Big lesson was learned that day!

  27. The snags were forgotten because of the **cuddles**.  Coming up for air only when the Fireman banged on the door. We had been oblivious to the black smoke pouring out through the kitchen window, the sirens and the hub-bub in the building. We can't cook sausages to this day without bringing back memories.

  28. "I'm just a poor old (wo)-man. ... My legs are grey. My ears are gnarled. My eyes are old and bent." -- Matthias, from Monty Python's Life of Brian.... also my teeth are getting weak and soup and perhaps later baby mush are now more of a necessity than luxury...   

    I cannot count the amazing and various things that I have stuck, burned and roasted onto my cookware over the years.  The worst smell was overboiled eggs. The worst result was a griller left on whilst at a school excursion....

    My legacy today is three tried and true and eco friendly means of cleaning burned on stuff off cookware.

    1. deglaze burned matter on high heat with a dash of vinegar and dishwashing detergent. remove from heat cool slightly. pop utensil into freezer, (or where I live outside in the frost) and leave overnight. scrub off burnt bits next morning.
    2. moisten utensil and shake even amounts of salt and bi-carb soda over burned areas. leave overnight. next morning heat utensil over high heat add a dash of vinegar whilst heating. burnt bits should flake off.
    3. To shine pots and pans and get rid of the cloudy areas once the black bits are gone, scour with steel wool and bi-carb soda.

  29. I burned a very large hole in the base of a very old pan when I was nursing a newborn whilst cooking an egg. True story. Couldn't concentrate on cooking and gazing in one go. Was a funny picture trying to put out the pan and keep my Bub latched on. Also taught me that multi tasking is not necessary sometimes! X ashley

  30. I honestly can't remember having any massive kitchen disasters, although I find it hard to believe that I truly haven't had any because I can be more than a little clumsy.  I had many failed batches of toffee as young un, I was never patient enough to let the sugar and water cook for long enough, thankfully I know what I'm doing in the toffee department these days.  Probably one of my funniest 'near' disasters happened a few years ago....I was making after school chocolate milkshakes for my big girls in my brand new blender....little did I know if you fit the jug on to the base with the dial in an on position it would start up as soon as the jug engaged.  Kind of problematic when you put a jug full of milk, icecream, ice and chocolate topping on it with no lid.  Thankfully the chocolate topping didn't quite spray the ceiling, only the milk made it that far.  Chocolate milkshakes with a side of giggles coming right up. 

    I might add that that poor old blender has put in the hard yards and its only a matter of time before the jug cracks completely through.  This little baby would get a pretty good workout in this house....and these days a chocolate milkshake is made from milk, banana and raw cacao...times are changing :)

    Tatum xx

  31. Sometimes when you are a big tattooed punk rock dork with too many vegan cookbooks, you listen to Bad Religion 'Against The Grain' whilst you cook jerk asparagus for the first time in your nice, expensive non-stick frypan.  Sometimes you get a little carried away by said album and start dancing in the loungeroom and singing into your closed fist as though it was a microphone. Sometimes the smoke alarm is disguised by loud punk  rock. Sometimes you realise you have managed to MELT your non-sticj frypan w and ruin it beyond salvation. Not saying I did that, but the person who did might be a bit embarrassed to tell the story.