Warming pumpkin soup with a twist
The change of seasons bring on a new mindset and new challenges for everyone. Especially when it concerns food. So I bid good bye to all the stone fruits and the delicious red tomatoes that I have enjoyed this past summer and welcome the fall with gusto. Admittedly, we don't feel the cold as severely here as our European and Northern American neighbours do. Nevertheless an extra cotton blanket covers my bed in the evening. So I welcome autumn, or fall with the arrival of this seasons pumpkins. This is also my entry for Ben's challenge where you get to cook something that signifies the change of seasons. There are great prizes up for grabs (tupperware!..yippee!) so get yourself over there and have a go.
Traditionally pumpkin soups are quite boring. (Well I think so anyway!). Sure they're tasty in their own right but I have always believed that they needed an extra lift somewhere. This recipe takes inspiration from Thailand, with the addition of chillies, spices and coconut cream. We don't however want these flavours to dominate. They blend in the background and allow the natural sweetness of the pumpkin to shine through.
Its quite a simple recipe so keeping with the new spirit of casually writing recipes here it is. I diced up a few eschallots, a clove of garlic and a deseeded red chilli. I added these to a pot with some olive oil and fried them till they were fragrant and the eschallots were translucent. Next, I added my chopped up chunks of butternut pumpkin. ( I used half a small pumpkin). I then added a teaspoon each of ground ginger and coriander and seasoned everything with salt and white pepper. I tossed the pumpkin through this mixture making sure it was coated thoroughly. I then added 2 cups of chicken stock and let it come to a boil. I lowered the temperature and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. The pumpkin was nice and tender. I used my trusted hand blender/whizzer and pureed the entire contents of the pot. Once I had my smooth consistency I took the pot of the heat. I squeezed half a lime and added a few splashes of fish sauce. Now, the important part. With a wooden spoon in one hand I poured in some coconut cream, a little at a time until I obtained a lovely golden colour. Be wary of adding too much coconut cream as this can be quite rich and it will dominate the entire dish. Serve immediately garnished with copped red chillies and some fried eschallots (which can be bought at any Asian grocer) and crusty bread.