Thai pumpkin soup

chillismall01

A hearty, creamy soup with a spicy kick.

Autumn brings many treats, and pumpkins are definitely one of the best. If you want to enhance the flavours of this soup even further, simply roast the pumpkin chunks in an oven (at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4) for 20 minutes until slightly brown on the outside. This will bring out the deep, sweet flavours even more.

preparation time 15 minutes cooking time 20-25 minutes serves 4

contains: nuts, citrus

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped into bite-sized chunks
400ml coconut milk
550ml fresh gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free vegetable stock, or vegetable stock made from gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free stock powder
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
2 handfuls chopped coriander leaves
100g peanuts, chopped

red curry paste:
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp coriander seeds
2 lemongrass stalks
6 large red chillies, deseeded and coarsely chopped
4 shallots, chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp shrimp paste
5 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
1 small handful coarsely chopped coriander leaves and stems

1 To make the curry paste, heat a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds and dry-fry for 2–3 minutes until they start to brown. Keep the seeds moving all the time so they do not burn.
2 Remove from the heat and grind to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar or electric hand-held mini blender. Place in a liquidizer or food processor.
3 Peel and coarsely chop the bottom half of the lemongrass stalks and add, along with chillies, shallots,
ginger and garlic. Blend well. Add the shrimp paste, kaffir lime leaves and the coriander, and blend to form a coarse paste. You’ll need 3-4 tablespoons of the paste for this recipe, so put the rest (about 8 tablespoons) in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
4 Heat the oils in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2–3 minutes until just starting to turn golden brown.
5 Stir in the curry paste (3-4 tablespoons) and add the pumpkin, coconut milk and stock. Turn up the heat slightly and bring to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Add the fish sauce to taste.
6 Blend the mixture in the pan using a hand-held electric blender to make a smooth soup. Alternatively, blend the soup in a liquidizer or food processor, return to the pan and heat through. Pour into bowls, sprinkle with the coriander and peanuts and serve.

related ingredients: fish sauce, shrimp paste, stock powder

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