National Pumpkin Month
October is not only National Pumpkin Month it is also National Apple Month...both beautiful cooking ingredients that deserve a mention … these ingredients are ones that I use a lot in my kitchen…therefore over the month of October, most of my recipes will make use of these lovely ingredients…Starting with a beautiful pumpkin soup today.
Halloween…Love it or hate it….there are some lovely recipes around and if you live in colder climes just what the doctor ordered to keep away those winter chills.
This recipe is an authentic Thai recipe … Pumpkins and squash grow very well in Thailand and are found on every market stall and on every street food stall so much is done with this versatile vegetable lots of lovely Thai desserts and soups…but I digress this lovely soup would look equally at home in your hollowed out Halloween pumpkin shell and add a bit of Thai spice to your table. If you have small pumpkins then hollowed out they would make wonderful receptacles for the soup and look beautiful served as individual portions.
- 400 gm pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
- 1 tsp white peppercorn
- 2 coriander roots
- 2 stalks of lemongrass very finely sliced
- 3 small shallots diced
- 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste…You will be able to purchase this from most Asian stores or online.
- 300 ml of prawn stock…I always keep my prawn heads and bits in the freezer until I have enough to make some stock.
- 700 ml coconut milk
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp roasted chilli paste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 16 prawns /shrimp, peeled and deveined or crab meat
- A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves save some for garnish
- 2 tbsp coconut oil to stir-fry
Firstly pound the peppercorns and the coriander root into a smooth paste. Then in a large saucepan, over medium heat stir-fry the peppercorn/coriander root paste, pumpkin, lemongrass, onions and shrimp paste, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes until all those lovely Thai flavours are released.
Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.
Next, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend with the shrimp stock until smooth. Pour back into a saucepan and add the coconut cream and bring to a slow gentle boil.
Add your seasonings, lime, fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste and stir to combine, add your prawns/ crabmeat and cook for 1-2 minutes…Now taste and adjust seasoning if required.
Remove from the heat and pour into a serving bowl or bowls. Stir in the basil leaves and garnish with extra leaves.
The true Thai way is to also garnish with spring onions or garlic stems, some fried crispy garlic or chicken skin and it always looks so vibrant and you just want to dive in and drown in the lovely flavours.
During the month of October, I will have more Halloween/Pumpkin or Apple recipes for you….until then stay safe, laugh a lot as and you know what I am going to say…Laughter is the best medicine and it is FREE…x