I developed this recipe for my Cooking For Men classes.
I wanted a recipe that introduced new and exciting flavours into an “old school” classic I was sure the gentlemen would be familiar with.
This is what I came up with.
THAI FLAVOURS PUMPKIN SOUP
1.5KG pumpkin. Choose a pumpkin with a glorious orangey colour. I used Queensland Blue in this recipe. Other suitable pumpkins available in Australia include; Jap/Kent and Butternut. Peel and chop the pumpkin into medium size pieces
2 medium onions – chopped
4 cloves of garlic – chopped
1 tablespoon of grated, fresh ginger
4 small red chillies – chopped. Increase or decrease this amount to suit your tastes
1 stalk of lemongrass. Cut of the top green bit, peel off the first couple of layers and then split the stem up the middle, almost to the root. This Wikpedia picture will give you an idea of what I mean
1 tablespoon brown or palm sugar
1 400-420ml can of coconut cream or milk – either works fine. The coconut cream will add a richer flavour
1 tablespoon of fish sauce ( omit if you don’t have it or you are vegetarian. It will still be a lovely soup)
salt to taste
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock. Powdered, long-life, and home-made all work well.
1 tablespoon of any neutral oil. Canola, peanut, sunflower etc. Olive oil doesn’t work in this recipe. It’s flavour is too assertive 🙂
the squeezed juice of a lime – about 2 tablespoons, or to taste.
My beautiful class assistant Chiara showed us all a trick she uses to make the break into an un-cut Qld Blue pumpkin. She puts the pumpkin into a couple of plastic bags and throws it down onto a hard floor 🙂
Voila! no more wrestling with a sharp knife and an enormous, hard-as-a-rock pumpkin! The beast splits apart into manageable pieces.
Heat the oil in a large pan and gently saute the onion, ginger, garlic and chillies. Do not let them colour.
When the onion is soft, add the pumpkin, the stock, the lemongrass and the sugar.
Put a lid on the pan so it’s half on and half off and simmer until the pumpkin is breaking-apart soft.
Remove and discard the lemongrass. Add the coconut cream/milk, the lime juice, the fish sauce and salt if you think you need it.
Bring back to the boil and then turn off the heat.
Blend or process until smooth. Add the lime juice while you’re blending and taste as you go.
Gently re-heat again if necessary.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with coriander.
I spooned a bit of cooked turmeric rice into each bowl of soup.
I obviously took my photos before the coriander went on and before I cleaned up the bowl… forgive me friends, I’m still wearing my photographer’s “L” plates 🙂
This is a delicious soup. Warming and comforting. Exotic and so easy to turn into a main meal with the addition of rice, cooked prawn or chicken, tofu or squid.