Pumpkins are the “It” factor right now, so I was in full procession of posting this lovely little recipe I cooked up the other day. It’s easy as any of the others I’ve posted so far and it will warm you to your twiddly toes!
Pumpkin soup was a primary dish served for prisoners of war in North Vietnamese prison camps during the Vietnam War. It’s so delicious I can imagine it going down a treat after a hard day’s work. I wanted to steer away from the lovely sweet dishes, and something perfect to warm you up after a long day or even after a much needed lazy one.
Pumpkins are quite watery, so of course they disintegrate fairly easily. I’ve used this to my advantage by roasting them with drizzles of olive oil to soften them up even more. This is a brilliant recipe for anybody who is particularly keen on hearty soups, it’s slightly thick with enough spice to tingle the taste buds yet with a cool wisp from the lemon grass to tone it down. So here it is… (Please feel free to alter spice content)
Recipe + Method:
500g pumpkin sliced, 1inch strips (peeled + deseeded)
½ tsp mixed herbs
3tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Green chilli, thinly sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1 ½ tbsp curry paste
1 lemon grass stalk, halved
500ml coconut milk
3tbsp soy sauce with a squeeze of lemon
600ml lamb stock, or chicken or vegetable if you’d prefer
Rosemary sprigs, to serve
Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C. After chopping up the pumpkin into slices, place it in a roasting dish and sprinkle on 1tbsp of olive oil and mixed herbs, and then cover with foil. This will prevent it from burning under the high temperature. It will need to roast until its soft, usually about 1 hour but check on it as ovens will vary in cooking times. Pour the remaining oil in a frying pan and throw in the lemongrass, curry paste, garlic and in a few minutes pour in the coconut milk too. Let this simmer for a few minutes before putting in the pumpkin and the stock. Set the heat low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Once that’s done, sieve the soup and pick out the lemongrass and puree the pumpkin in a blender. Use some of the soup to ease the process of blending, then put it all in the pan with the remaining soup and the soy sauce. Serve it hot with rosemary sprigs to decorate, or even add some chilli or spring onions.
Also the pumpkins I have used as bowls are simply baby pumpkins and easily acquirable in local supermarkets, being in season of course.