Spooky cooking, scary movies


Capitol Pumpkin Soup | The Hunger Games

As reality and dystopian fiction become closer to indistinguishable, it’s no surprise that it is #DISHTOPIA Month: Eat Like It’s the End of the World, Fandom Foodies theme hosted by the lovely Catherine at The Gluttonous Geek – check out the linkup for more foodpocalypse!

For the Hunger Games, unless you’re really into fried squirrel or nettle tea, the best food is going to be found in The Capitol. Obscene feasts are thrown regularly from the wealth of resources flowing in, which probably include spices, so when I set out to make the creamy pumpkin soup sprinkled with slivered nuts and black seeds that Katniss samples, that’s exactly what I imagined.

I used canned pumpkin (LAZY! Like Capitol people) and a whole can of coconut milk (RICH and DECADENT! Like Capitol people).

Paanch phoran, or five-spice powder, is made from cumin, fenugreek, fennel, mustard, and black seeds called kalonji (or nigella seeds, or onion seeds, or black seeds, etc. It’s the seed of many names), so that’s what I used as the seasoning for my soup. I much recommend seeking out the curry leaves (NOT bay leaves, even though they look similar) at your local Indian market, they will give your soup a delicate and delicious fragrance and really take it to Capitol level fare.

May the soup be EVER in your flavor…

Capitol Pumpkin Soup

  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil (or a flavorless cooking oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each cumin, fenugreek, fennel, mustard, and kalonji seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 fresh curry leaves
  • sliced almond and a sprinkle of kalonji for garnish

Heat the oil and saute onion until it just starts to turn golden. Add ginger and garlic and stir for a minute or two, then add all seeds and cook until they start to sizzle (be careful not to burn). Add turmeric and red chili, stir for a minute, then add almond meal, pumpkin puree and a cup of the chicken broth. Heat through.

Blend the mixture thoroughly and return to the pot along with the rest of the chicken broth, the coconut milk, cinnamon stick, and curry leaves. Mix well, gently heat and cook on a low simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with sliced almonds and kalonji.

This dish was first posted for Fiction Kitchen Episode 25: THE HUNGER GAMES in which Carrie and Diana discuss The Hunger Games books and movies, including from Greek mythological child sacrifices, Katniss’s practical hairstyle, social commentary, and the scarcity of goat milk.

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