Thai-inspired Pumpkin Soup
This is a soup I've been making for about 10 years. It's incredibly versatile and never really tastes the same as the time before as I'm always adding a little something or omitting something. Often, I throw in some veggies that I happen to have lying around, but it always seems to work out well and is a big hit when I serve it to guests or take it to potlucks.
I used to make this with acorn squash and sometimes butternut squash, but for the last couple of years I've been using pumpkin and I think I like it even better that way. I bet it could even be made with sweet potatoes! I've made it at different times with red, yellow, masaman and green curry paste. I've made it with homemade chicken stock, turkey stock or pork stock. I've even made it with bought stock in a pinch. I've added zucchini at times, sometimes lentils or even steel cut oats. I've also omitted cilantro when someone who dislikes it will be dining with us and I've used onions and/or shallots depending on what I have on hand.
Here's (more or less) how I make it...
I cook some pumpkin until soft
Roughly chop some onions (or shallots)
Roughly chop some garlic (8 cloves), ginger (1/4 cup) and Thai bird chilies (3-5)
This is what the chilies look like when whole
I sauté these in some coconut oil until softened
This is my favourite coconut oil
I add some Thai curry paste (red this time and about 1/4 cup)
This is the brand I had on hand but my favourite is Mae Ploy brand
I add a large can of coconut milk (full fat, not that horrible light stuff!)
And I cook all of this together for about 20 minutes
Then I add about 6 cups of homemade stock (mine was frozen in 2 cup blocks, which is why it looks so strange). I cook this for about another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, I chop a large bunch of cilantro
Then I add the cooked pumpkin to the soup
Along with the cilantro (probably 3 cups chopped)
Once this has cooked for about 10 more minutes, I purée the whole lot with an immersion blender
Then I add fish sauce (this is my favourite brand) to taste (maybe 1 tablespoon)
Sometimes I add a teaspoon or so of tom yum paste (most brands have MSG so don't use if there are those with sensitivities). I also add 1 tablespoon organic coconut palm sugar for a slight sweetness
To balance the soup, I add some tamarind paste (for sourness)
I use about a tablespoon (dissolve it in 1/4 cup hot water) but the juice of a lime can be substituted if you can't find it!
Pour into a bowl and enjoy!
Ingredients for Thai-inspired Pumpkin Soup
3 cups cooked pumpkin
3 large shallots or 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh ginger, roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3-5 Thai bird chilies, roughly chopped
1/4 cup red curry paste (up to 1/2 cup depending on the paste)
1 large or 2 regular cans of full-fat coconut milk
6 cups homemade stock (veggie, chicken, turkey, pork or beef will work)
3 cups cilantro, chopped
3 cups cooked pumpkin
1 tablespoon tamarind paste or juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon organic coconut palm sugar (or honey or agave nectar)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon tom yum paste (optional)