Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup

Happy Halloween! Even though it seemed more like Christmas than Halloween in Boston over the weekend, I made some pumpkin soup to remind myself that it is still Fall. I came up with this Thai curry pumpkin soup for something a little different. I started by roasting a sugar pumpkin, and then added it to a base of onion, red curry paste, and light coconut milk. The soup came out very light, even more than I had envisioned, but it allowed room for our main course. For something a little richer, I would add more coconut milk instead of water, and maybe use regular coconut milk instead of light.
 

Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup

Vegetable Oil
1 6-lb sugar pumpkin
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
4. tbsp red curry paste
1 can light coconut milk
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
Water
Fresh cilantro
1 lime
Salt and pepper

I started with a whole sugar pumpkin. I wrestled with it a little trying to figure out how to cut it, but it was worth the effort.

I first cut it in half and removed the seeds, setting them aside to roast later.

I cut the pumpkin into wedges and coated with vegetable oil, plenty of salt, and pepper. I spread them out on a sheet pan and roasted for about an hour and a half in a 400 degree oven until tender. In hindsight, it may have been easier to peel the whole pumpkin and roast it in cubes, or even just roast it whole. I got a late start so I just kind of hacked into the pumpkin to get it in the oven as soon as possible!

While the pumpkin was roasting, I prepared the base by first sautéing the onion in some vegetable oil over medium heat. I noticed that Whole Foods seems to have beefed up their Asian food section, so I just had to buy the dried kaffir lime leaves when I saw them. Fresh would have been even better, but I took what I could get. I added a couple of them to the onion.

When the onion was just about cooked, I added the garlic and ginger and sautéed for about another minute. Then I added the curry paste and quickly sautéed it until fragrant. Finally, I slowly added the coconut milk until it was fully incorporated in curry. I let this simmer over barely low heat until the pumpkin was finished roasting, removing the kaffir lime leaves at the end.

I took the pumpkin out of the oven after about an hour and a half. My oven cooks a little unevenly, so not all of the pumpkin pieces were completely cooked through at this point. I was impatient though, so I just let them cook a little more in the soup. After the wedges were cooled slightly, I peeled them and dropped them into the coconut curry base.

I realized at this point that I didn’t have nearly enough liquid for all of the pumpkin, so I added quite a bit of water (probably about six cups). It honestly didn’t dilute the flavor because the base was so flavorful, but you could add more coconut milk instead for a richer soup.

When the pumpkin was fully cooked, I pureed it with an immersion blender until it was completely smooth. I also blended in a handful of cilantro and seasoned with a little more salt.

Matt had the genius idea of roasting the pumpkin seeds for a nice crunchy topping. He coated them with salt and ground chili and roasted in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. They were the perfect soup topper, and also a delicious snack on their own.

Yum.

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