Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thai spiced Pumpkin and Kumara soup

Sunday 4.45pm

While waiting for Nicola to shop recently, I went to a cafe with my youngest so that he could have hot chocolate and chocolate cake (yes I know, but it was my day off from dentistry and anyway, chocolate is good for you). On the menu was a thai spiced pumpkin soup which sounded nice, but when I had some was a bit of a disappointment. It was firey a bit coconutty, but that was it really. Thai food has a flavour all of it's own and I would never say this was authentic but it is certainly more what I was expecting that day - coriander and lime along with that sherbet lemonyness from the lemongrass, all backed up with some fire from the chilli. 

- Put some oil in a pan and gently cook the following. One onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a thumb sized piece of ginger root, a red chilli and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper, all peeled if neccessary and roughly chopped.
- Meanwhile peel and chop a three inch piece of squash and a golden Kumara.
- Scrape out the onions etc into a bowl, add some more oil, turn up the heat and put in the pumpkin and kumara. Let them cook until the edges start to blacken, shuffling them about a bit occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Return the onions etc to the pan, add in a pint and a quarter of vegetable stock, a couple of lime leaves, and some lemongrass. If you have the real thing I would go for 4 stalks (peeled and sliced) but I only had some ready prepared stuff so used a dessertspoonfull.
- Turn the heat down and leave to simmer until cooked.
- Liquidise the soup along with a big handfull of coriander.
- Return it all to the washed out saucepan along with a dessertspoon of fish sauce, the juice of a lime, a tin of coconut milk and if neccessary a little salt (or more lime juice or lemongrass . . . whatever you fancy really.)

Served with some feta and more coriander it was mildly spiced, the pumpkin flavour coming through along with a flouryness from the kumara (a potato would do the same job). I like quite a fragrant flavour, hence all the coriander but as I say, you can alter the spicing to what you like.

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