Thai Pumpkin Soup
This spicy aromatic soup is a wonderful way of using pumpkins. Serving the soup in the pumpkin shell creates a special effect and looks fabulous if you are throwing a Halloween party or having friends for dinner.
- 900 g/2lb pumpkin flesh
- 1 dsp olive oil
- 25 g/1oz butter
- 1 onion – finely chopped
- 2 inches ginger – grated
- 1 tsp chilli sauce or
- 2 red chillies – deseeded and finely chopped
- 400 g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
- 570 ml/1pt chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 570 ml/1pt coconut milk
- 1 dsp of coriander or parsley – finely chopped
- 1 red chilli and 1 green chilli – deseeded and finely sliced
- Slice the top off the pumpkin and carefully remove all the seeds. Using a knife or a heavy spoon remove the flesh from the insides. Be careful not to cut through the shell of the pumpkin if you are using it as a serving dish, or the soup will leak out. Chop the pumpkin flesh quite coarsely.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based pan. When it is foaming add the onion, ginger and chillies and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the pumpkin flesh and stir well. Place the lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Give the mixture a stir from time to time to prevent it sticking.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes. Now add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Replace the lid and cook for a further 45 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Pour the soup into a blender or liquidiser and blitz until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
- Return the soup to the saucepan, add the coconut milk, adjust the seasoning and cook for a further 6-7 minutes.
- To prepare the pumpkin for use as a serving dish, ensure it is well scooped out and dry. Place in a pre-heated oven @ 180°C/gas mark 4 for 10 minutes. Just to warm it through. Now add the soup. Garnish with the herbs and slices of chilli.