Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut Soup with Thai Flavours
This velvety, rich, sweet and downright luscious soup fits right in with my attempts to eat paleo (ie. omit all grain-based carbs) while not feeling remotely deprived, and my current obsession with the awesome kubocha pumpkin, which is dense and filling and absolutely packed with flavour and nutrients (however any flavourful pumpkin or squash would do here).
By the way, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to Thai cooking, so if you’re expert please don’t snigger at the back. All I know is that these flavours taste delish and their brightness and freshness cuts through the creamy, sweet soup perfectly.
4-6 cups of peeled pumpkin or squash (cubed)
1 tablespoon olive oil or melted coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
A few branches of thyme
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2-3 plump cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 fresh green chilis, finely chopped
4 inch piece of lemongrass, finely chopped
A small handful of Thai basil (or normal basil), finely chopped
3-4 lime leaves
This is the perfect place for one of those small boxes of fresh herbs from the supermarket entitled ‘Thai Flavours’ or some such. If you can’t find that I’ve made this with a couple of tablespoons of Thai green curry paste in place of the lemongrass, basil and lime leaves.
1 can light coconut milk
2-3 cups of good chicken stock (I use my own bone broth)
Chopped coriander (cilantro) and spring onions (scallions) to garnish.
Place the pumpkin cubes on a baking sheet, sprinkle with the olive oil or melted coconut oil and rub it into the pumpkin cubes with your hands until everything is well anointed. Season with sea salt (I use Maldon) and freshly ground pepper to taste and add a few branches of thyme.
Bake in the oven at 200 degrees C (approx 400 degrees F) until the pumpkin is soft and golden brown round the edges.
(You don’t have to roast your pumpkin, but it really does bring out the flavour).
While your pumpkin is roasting, start to caramelize your onions.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot, add the onions, garlic, chili, lemongrass, basil and whole lime leaves and cook gently until the onions are a soft and have turned rich golden brown, being careful not to burn them.
When the onions are done, add the roasted pumpkin cubes (or raw pumpkin if you prefer), the coconut milk and 2 cups of bone broth and bring everything to a simmer. Cook for around five minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft if using raw pumpkin, and then fish out the whole lime leaves.
Using an immersion blender or liquidiser, blend the soup until it is thick and creamy. Add more broth as necessary depending on the texture you like your finished soup to be.
Serve piping hot, garnished with chopped onions and coriander (cilantro). Obviously garnishes are optional, but the crisp green crunchiness really complements the earth, creamy soup.