Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup.

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Temperatures are definitely dropping here on the central coast, winter is approaching. Here is a simple, tasty and warming pumpkin soup to keep the chills at bay and add sweet nourishment to contrast the over flow of  “Trick or Treat” candy.  Serve this in advance of Halloween festivities,  to make sure the kids have something under their belts to keep them grounded. It is a soup sweet enough it fits right in.
This recipe takes about 30 mins from start to finish. Like anything that comes with a broth it will taste better on the reheat. Do be reminded the soup will of course be spicier the second time around. ( If you choose to add the yellow curry paste)
Kabocha is again by far the best choice of pumpkin for this recipe but butter nut squash and acorn squash can also be used.
1 medium sized pumpkin.
1 onion diced
2 clove of garlic sliced ( or one large clove of elephant garlic)
2 table spoons of sesame oil
1 tables spoon of yellow curry paste (Mae Ploy is our favorite & the yellow paste is delicately spicy)
3 drops of fish sauce
1 can coconut milk
1 bunch of lemon grass white bulb end only. quartered but not split all the way through
2  cups of stock ( Chicken or Vegetable cubes in water are equally fine)
1/2 dozen lime leaves ( found in most oriental supermarkets)
A handful of cilantro to garnish
Pour coconut milk into a saucepan, add prepped lemon grass, lime leaves whole, 2 cups of stock and three drops of fish sauce and allow to simmer
Cut your pumpkin into wedges, deseed, and set to steam gently for 10 mins.
 Dice onion and sauté with garlic until opaque, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1
tablespoon of yellow thai curry paste, stir in and continue to sauté on a low heat.
Remove pumpkin from steamer and allow to cool. Scoop out the flesh and add to sauté onion, garlic and curry paste and continue to sauté.
The coconut milk soup base should have aromatic notes of lemon grass and lime leaf, which would also be apparent on sampling. (Remove but retain the lemon grass and the lime leaf for the finished soup as both components will continue to enhance the flavor if you are planning to reheat and serve later).
Add pumpkin and onion once completely combined to the coconut milk, pour into blender in equal parts and whizz each portion for 30 seconds, before returning to a low heat  or as I prefer use a hand blender in saucepan for 1 mins to bind all ingredients to a smooth creamy soup consistency. This recipe also makes a great base for Thai Pumpkin curry.
Ladle into bowls or mugs, garnish with cilantro and enjoy.
Happy Halloween & Bon appétit tout le monde.
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