Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spicey Thai Pumpkin Soup (Part 1 to Saturday Lunch)

        This will begin a series of "behind the scenes" posts about the dishes that Ryan and I cooked for our "Just Because" lunch for some friends on Saturday. Between us we made 4 dishes out of the many that were served at lunch. My first dish was something I wanted to present as a little amuse bouche, something to warm up our guests on a wet cool day while they were standing around waiting for others to come or helping to set up. I was originally thinking a cream of corn soup which I found off the Taste website which I wanted to do, or I could have just made Neil Perry's creamed corn again =).
        Ryan actually wanted me to do a Thai pumpkin soup so I went about googling some ideas and playing on my own knowledge of Thai flavours and came up with my own rendition of a Spicey Thai Pumpkin Soup. I originally planned to serve them in little shot glasses but thought they were too small so opted for these plastic wine glasses instead. From the feedback going around on Saturday most people loved it though you can't please everyone as there were a few cups which were barely touched.

        I think this is the easiest dish that I have ever cooked, also the cheapest as all I had to buy was a pumpkin because all the other ingredients were things readily available in my house. So the ingredients are, a whole pumpkin (butternut preferred), vegetable stock (I used what was left in the fridge which was only about a cup or so making my soup really thick, I suggest about 500 mls or even more if you want it thinner and soupy), coconut cream (I used half a can here), ginger, garlic, onion (mum had some pre chopped in the fridge), a couple of chillies (from the freezer), red curry paste (about 2 tablespoons, had some leftover which I had made from scratch) and some coriander to garnish. 

        Sautee the diced onion, minced garlic, finely chopped garlic and chilli until the onion is translucent then add the diced pumpkin (the smaller the quicker it will cook) and few tablespoons of red curry paste (depending how spicey you want it) and keep cooking for a couple of minutes to fry off the curry paste. Add your stock and cook on medium-high heat until the pumpkin is cooked through.

        Once cooked, transfer the pumpkin to a blender and blend in batches with some coconut cream. Pour it into a saucepan and once all the pumpkin has been pureed put it back onto the heat and season with some salt and also a teaspoon or two of sugar to balance the flavours out.

        I've made regular pumpkin soup many many times before, especially in winter, to take to work and stuff and I think that because I kept making it the same way and eating so much of it I've been slightly turned off by the thought of pumpkin soup now. The addition of the curry paste, coconut cream and all the other ingredients really does give this humble soup quite a good kick.
        The combination of pumpkin and coconut cream actually takes me back to my childhood, when mum used to always cook a chunky pumpkin and coconut cream soup to eat with rice at dinner time. Her version was a prawn/pork broth with large pieces of pumpkin and sometimes she would add some minced pork and dried shrimp to it too. I would find myself just mashing up the pumpkin and coconut flavoured broth and mixing it through my rice turning it all orange and eating it just as it is. Mum has stopped adding coconut cream to this soup over the years though possibly due to health concerns but I miss it. This soup brings me back to those days but with a more evolved taste sensation. It probably would have been a little bit on the too spicey side for my young taste buds at that time.

        Ryan absolutely loved my soup and said to me yesterday that he was craving for some more and that the little serve he got on Saturday was just not enough for him to appreciate the flavour of the soup. So today I went and bought a pumpkin and thought I would make it again. I added more stock and coconut cream but found that it was still quite thick. I don't mind though as I love my soups thick (depending on what it is though). Also I used the last of my red curry paste to make the first batch I used the curry paste I made for Massaman curry I had in the freezer which worked fine.
        This soup had a much more intense flavour and slightly spicier than the first batch (possibly because I added more curry paste too hehe), I couldn't help but lick all the spoons and even the pot and ran my finger down the sides of the blender to not waste a single drop. That's how much I loved this soup! =D

** Oh and I just realised it's been 3 months since I started this thing, feels like I've been doing it for ages! Maybe because I've been taking photos of my cooking/food for so long already. Happy 3 months bloggy!**


chocolatesuze said...

ooh happy 3month blogiversary! your pumpkin soup sounds awesome i want to dip a whole wedge of bread and eat the whole bowl

Here Comes The Aeroplane said...

My fav pumpkin soup is a coconut red curry paste recipe too! What's not tasty about that! Good idea to use it as an appetiser. :)

Ladybird said...

Mmmm this soup looks lovely - something warming on a cold day :)

Anh said...

I made Thai pumpkin soup very often as well! This is a fav!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

After my huge utter failure with curry pumpkin soup a couple of months ago, I totally and utterly want some of this! yeah!

Maria said...

Nice! I have a huge pumpkin waiting to be used so I might just give this recipe a go :)

Sarah Vino said...

Hey nice punpkin! I've also just had my blog just over 3 months now!! Yay to us!

OohLookBel said...

And what a great 3 months it's been - love your work, Angie! I like the pumpkin soup, too - the coconut cream would make it taste even better.

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Suze: Thanks! Hehe yeah it taste reaaaally good though I made it a little too think to be dunking anything in, the bread could be used as a scoop though I guess hehe

Hi Rachael: Thanks, yeah red curry and coconut cream just give it that extra kick, so yumm.

Hi Ladybird: Thanks =) Definately warming (hot soup and spicy too).

Hi Anh: It's just so much better than regular pumpkin soup, don't think I will go back!

Hi Amy: Maybe you can try again? It really is simple.

Hi Maria: Thanks =) Yes, don't let that pumpkin go to waste!

Hi Sarah: Umm thanks! I guess it is a nice pumpkin? Or maybe you meant nice pumpkin *soup* hehe. Boy where has 3 months gone!

Hi Belle: Thank you so much for the kind words =) I appreciate that you appreciate my ramblings and odd photos =) coconut cream definately makes pumpkin soup that much better =D