This curry pumpkin soup is a combination of my regular pumpkin soup made with coconut milk and steamed pumpkin and a Thai yellow curry recipe I learnt recently on a visit to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. It’s a spicy and healthy meal to warm you up during the colder months.
Ingredients (serves 2 – 3)
- 1 small or half a medium-sized pumpkin. Portions of a larger pumpkin can also be used but smaller pumpkins of the pie, sugar or cheese varieties usually taste best. Another option if pumpkin isn’t in season is to use BPA-free canned pumpkin.
- 1 bell pepper (orange bell peppers are believed to contain more carotenoids like zeaxanthin for your eyes).
- 1 can of BPA-free organic coconut milk (So glad they started making these. The more people start demanding BPA-free cans, the quicker manufacturers will have to stop using this dangerous chemical).
- Half a dozen spring onions.
- 1 teaspoon of virgin organic coconut oil.
- 1 tablespoon of Thai fermented fish sauce.
- 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice.
Thai Curry Ingredients
- 2-3 dried red chilies (soaked in water for 15 minutes before pounding in a mortar).
- 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric (fresh is ideal if you can get it but I usually use this high-curcumin powdered turmeric).
- 1 teaspoon of yellow curry powder.
- 1 tablespoon of chopped shallots.
- 1 tablespoon of chopped lemongrass.
- 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger (or Thai ginger known as galangal if you can find it).
- 1/4 teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds.
- 1/4 teaspoon of roasted coriander seeds.
How to Make Thai Yellow Curry Paste
Start by chopping up the soaked chilies into a large mortar and pound them with a pestle until they are starting to become a paste. Add all of the other ingredients and pound and twist with the pestle until everything is ground up and mixed.
This can be a decent work out for the wrist and can take a little while. If you don’t have the time a pre-made authentic Thai yellow curry paste can be used. But the difference on the tastebuds with a freshly made curry paste is worth trying at least once.
Making The Soup
Begin by chopping up and steaming the pumpkin in a steamer saucepan. The page on cooking pumpkins for maximum nutrition has detailed instructions for a simple way to do this. If you’re using BPA-free canned pumpkin, just gently heat it in a separate saucepan and add it with all the other ingredients to your blender at the end.
After 10 minutes of steaming for the pumpkin, add the bell pepper, washed, deseeded and cut into quarters and steam for a further 5 minutes.
Wash and chop up the spring onions and gently fry them in the coconut oil in a saucepan with a lid on. Stir occasionally until they start to go clear.
Add the Thai yellow curry paste on low heat and mix it in for a minute to coat the spring onions. Pour in the coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir well and cover until lightly simmering. Meanwhile, remove the bell pepper from the steamer straight into your blender
If you don’t have a blender already or are thinking of an upgrade, I like this Cusinart 1000 watt model, currently about half price at Amazon. Cheap blenders usually have a short shelf life and replacing them can end up costing more over time than getting a really good one that works well from the start.
Place the steamed pumpkin strips on a chopping board to cool for a moment. Using a fork or folded paper towel to keep them steady, the orange pulp can be scooped out with a tablespoon and added straight to the blender.
Once all the steamed pumpkin is in the blender you can add the yellow curry coconut milk mixture over the top, put on the lid and blend it all up well into a smooth consistency.
Check the spiciness of your curry soup before serving it. It’s permissible in Thai cooking to add a little more chili powder or flakes if you’d like it spicier or to add more lime juice if it’s too spicy. Test again until it’s just right.
It can be good to serve this curry soup with extra wedges of lime juice if you think anyone you’re eating it with would like a soup less spicy than your own tastes. You’ll be amazed how a wedge or two of fresh lime juice squeezed into the soup and mixed in will really dampen down the heat of excess chili.
Well there’s my Thai yellow curry pumpkin soup. I hope you like it as much as I do and I’d really appreciate any feedback if you make it up for yourself.
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