A tale of two best friends on opposite sides of the world and their quest to cook everything from
Stephanie Alexander's 'The Cook's Companion'

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Welcome Back Lidia / Wintery Pumpkin Soup

Hi Everyone, it's been such a long time since I've posted on this blog. Apologies all round. Finally, we are in the new house and unpacked, and the renovations are about to commence. My poor Stephanie book has hardly been touched, but it does take pride of place in my bookshelf with all my other cookbooks. Still using it regularly as a reference, but we have hardly had an opportunity to cook too much in the past month. Fortunately, I still had a recipe or two saved up my sleeve for when I had the time to post them.

This Pumpkin Soup recipe inspired me a bit. I love pumpkin soup ordinarily, but I have always liked spicy food, so the combination of the Asian flavours and spice, along with the creaminess of the pumpkin soup base and the coconut milk, well, I was in heaven. I have always found that adding spice to a soup intensifies the heat tenfold, I'm not sure why, but soups always taste extra spicy.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe (of course) but this was mainly because I wanted a lower in fat version, without compromising on taste too much. The main difference is that I chose to use good old Carnation Light and Creamy Coconut Milk instead of coconut milk. It's only about 3% fat, and it adds the delicious hint of coconut without the heaviness of regular coconut milk. For a weeknight dinner, it's important to keep the fat content reasonably low, otherwise I would be the size of a house!

Allan & Michele's Asian Inspired Pumpkin Soup (Printable Recipe)
adapted from Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion, pg 800

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red or green Thai curry paste (I used red)
1 onion, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 kg pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
400ml coconut milk (or as I used, the Light and Creamy Coconut variety)
freshly ground black pepper
fresh coriander leaves

Heat a large, heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, add oil and the curry paste, cook it for 5 minutes or so, and keep stirring so it doesn't stick. It will soon become fragrant, (I usually sneeze about here) then add the vegetables and salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, but keep stirring occasionally so the flavours go through all the vegetables. Add the stock, bring it to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or whenever the pumpkin is tender.

Puree the soup however you wish, usually I use my Bamix as it's easy to clean, then strain it into the saucepan. It's a good idea to wipe the pan clean before adding the soup back into it. Straining it may seem like a lot of effort, but it gives the soup such a smooth texture, that it's actually worth the effort. Return the soup to the boil, add the coconut milk, whisking while pouring and adjust the seasoning as required. Serve in bowls and scatter the coriander leaves over it. The best pumpkin soup I've had in a long time!

I also added a carrot to my vegetables, but that's because I was trying to get through my vegies in the fridge at the time. It sweetens the soup a bit more, but it's fine.

1 comment:

Edem said...

What! No mention of your husband having to sit there for 30 minutes straining the soup. Give credit where it is due :| Good soup though!