March 27, 2012

Recipes from Tambopata: Peruvian Pumpkin Cream Soup

How to prepare our "cremita de zapallo":


  • ½ Medium Pumpkin, zapallo, or one whole Butternut squash
  • 1 Finely sliced medium onion
  • 1 Clove crushed garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed fresh ginger or ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk (for a heavier soup substitute with cream)
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • 1.     Peel and slice zapallo and boil in water until soft.
  • 2.     Melt butter and fry onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is clear and soft.
  • 3.     In a large saucepan, simmer zapallo, milk, and onion mixture for 5 minutes.
  • 4.     Add the flour and stir until well dissolved. 
  • 5.     For a puree texture, put the mixture in a blender and blend on high until desired texture is achieved. 
  • 6.     Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • 7.     Serve warm.

Garnish with croutons fried in butter, chopped green onions or a small sprig of fresh parsley.

In Peru we generally use Zapallo Loche (Cucurbita moschata), relative of pumpkins, of medium size and golden flesh and of the much bigger Zapallo Macre (Cucurbita maxima), which is instead yellow.  

If these are not available, the Zapallo can be replaced with pumpkin or butternut squash.  Huacatay (Tagetes minuta), ginger and garlic give the characteristic flavor to this cream soup, prepared with zapallo (a kind of pumpkin).
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