Thai Flavours Pumpkin Soup

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.


  • 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.


8 thoughts on “Thai Flavours Pumpkin Soup

  1. haha, ya pumpkins are so hard to cut, the throwing onto floor idea is really good. I’ll take it a step further and throw it down one storey.

    By the way, in my latest post I tried to do a step by step thing like you always do, in the end I got so flustered cos I kept on forgetting where I put the ingredients and utensils after I had to keep on washing my hands and picking the camera and going in the garden to photograph each step (food looks better in daylight doesn’t it?). I gave up in the end. As you can probably see, haha!

  2. Food looks better in daylight? You got me 🙂 There you go. That shows you what a totally useless photographer I am. Next time I’ll drag everything out into the garden and see if the photos look any better…

    I love your posts. They always look and read brilliant to me – a real inspiration.

    (don’t let your pumpkin land on anyone if you decide to throw it off the balcony – they’ll sue you hahaha)

  3. Thanks rosie, You really live up to your name, you’re really a very sweet person.

    Taking food in daylight works! You should try it and see the difference. It doesn’t work if its a cloudy or rainy day though..

    Do you really run a class called cooking for men? How is it different from women cooking? the only thing I know is when my husband helps me cook, he’s very s-l-o-w, but its still fun.

    I can count the number of times I ate pumpkin on one hand. I’ve had pumpkin on the bbq, roasted with rosemary and my mom made me a pumpkin souffle like 10 years ago, I still remember it cos it was so delicious.

    Its such an un-Asian vegetable,so rarely used in my culture. Its so nice that you gave it an Asian twist!

  4. Thank you happygrub – YOU’RE sweet 🙂

    I forgot to take last nights dinner into the garden, so my next post isn’t going to have fabulous photos either. I am going to try it though 🙂

    Yep, I’ve been taking Cooking For Men classes for years now. It’s part of the local council’s social support program. They classes are for older gentlemen, once a week, for 6 weeks. They love them! Loads come back for a second, third and fourth time! Tomorrow we are going to do chicken cacciatore and roasted vegetable couscous. They take the meal home for dinner that night. We’ve had some giggles…

    Have a lovely week 🙂

  5. What a great idea! So you’re like a cooking teacher/chef. That’s so fun.. I can’t cook and teach at the same time, I get very muddled.

    By the way, would u like some vanilla beans? I could post them if u mail me ur address..

  6. Hi happygrub – sorry for the late reply – so busy! 🙂 uni started this week + work + life 🙂

    The classes are great. Is there anything like that in Singapore that you know of? Maybe I should move there and start one 😉

    I’d love some vanilla beans, but please let me pay for them somehow. Maybe something in return from Oz? I’ll try emailing again. Maybe, if I remember today I’ll use my work email, see if that works 🙂

    Have a lovely day.

  7. Being busy is a good thing isn’t it?

    No, no classes that I know of similar to that. Men are banned from the kitchen in some cultures here, which is not a good thing! 🙂

    No, don’t think I would like anything, its ok, take it as a gift! If u can’t send me the email u can just leave a comment on my blog with your add, I won’t publish it so don’t worry. 🙂

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