November 04, 2009

Creamy Thai Pumpkin Soup

We are finally experiencing some rain here after a couple of months of hot, humid weather. The months of September and October are always this way as we lose our trade winds and the humidity sets in.  There were some days that I thought I would melt in a puddle on the floor.  This is the only time when I wish that we had air conditioning rather than island air-conditioning, which involves opening a window or a door.  I don't know about you but when it is so hot it is hard for me to summon any enthusiasm to turn on the oven, so we usually BBQ.

Tonight it is just that little bit cooler and the first thing I wanted to cook was soup. I looked in the fridge and I decided on pumpkin soup.  I have made pumpkin soup before but this time I wanted a twist.  I remembered seeing a recipe for a Thai-inspired pumpkin soup and knew that I wanted to try something like this and experiment with the ingredients a little. The original recipe can be found here and was posted by Kuvy on the Cooking Light Community Bulletin Board way back in 2003.

The original recipe called for cilantro, which I love, but it is not a favorite in my family, so I knew straight away that it had to go.  To boost the flavor that was lost from omitting this ingredient I decided to add some lemongrass and, for a little heat, I added red curry paste. After tasting the soup I felt it was missing a sweet note so I included some brown sugar.  I thought all of the changes were successful and added a different dimension to the soup. The finishing touch was a dollop of sour cream on the top.  As I was adding the sour cream I had the idea that next time I would do a cilantro-sour cream topping for those who do want a taste of cilantro in the soup.

Felice's Creamy Thai Pumpkin Soup

1/2 medium onion, chopped
5 cups butternut squash pumpkin, chopped
1 13.5 fl oz can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon red curry paste (or more if you like more fire)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
sour cream for topping

1. In a large pot saute onion until it is translucent.
2. Add broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, lemongrass, and brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Add salt and pepper and simmer over medium heat until pumpkin is tender.
3. Stir in fish sauce and red curry paste and cook for another few minutes. Taste soup and adjust seasonings accordingly.
4. Let cool for approximately 10 minutes and then puree batches in a blender or use an immersion blender directly in the pot being extremely careful of the hot soup.  Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream.


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