Autumn is with us, and the evenings are becoming a little cooler – a welcome relief from the hot humid days of the past couple of months. As much as I love salads and fresh clean barbeque cooking, at this time of the year I am starting to yearn for more complex slower cooked dishes. There’s nothing nicer that a pot of homemade soup warming on the stove when the temperatures are falling, and this gorgeous pumpkin soup is one of my favourites.
Pumpkin, creamy coconut milk and Thai flavourings combine to make a really delicious soup, and the addition of some fresh chilli gives it a nice bite. We made this soup in last week’s Celebrate the Seasons cooking class and it went down a treat! With so many of the ingredients currently in season – pumpkin, onions, ginger, garlic, chillies and limes – it is a great example of seasonal cooking. If you’re making this ahead of time, stir through the coriander leaves just before serving.
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 2cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 cup vegetable stock or water
400ml tin of coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
Garnish: coriander sprigs
Food processor or blender
Large lidded saucepan
Method (20 minutes prep + 30 minutes cooking):
1. Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-low heat in the saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
2. Add the pumpkin, garlic, chillies and ginger. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the stock or water, increase the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat back to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.
4. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender, and then return to the saucepan.
5. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
6. Stir through most of the chopped coriander. Test, for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
7. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the coriander sprigs.