Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup Recipe

Wed, Dec 15, 2010

Thai Soup

In Thailand, pumpkin and coconut milk are commonly paired up to make a variety of both savory and sweet entrees. In this recipe, the two come together beautifully in a lightly-curried soup that tastes as delicious as those you may have tried at your favorite Thai restaurant. A variety of protein sources can be used with this soup, including tofu, deep-fried tofu, shrimp, or chickpeas (for a purely vegetarian/vegan recipe, see link below). It makes a perfect meal on a chilly night, but is also wonderful to serve as an appetizer for a dinner party. Enjoy!

– 6 cups good-tasting chicken stock (SERVES 2 as a main entree, 4-6 as an appetizer)
-m1/3 to 1/2 can thick coconut milk (preferably not ‘lite’)
– 4 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass (see below), OR frozen-prepared (available at Asian stores)
– 3 kefir lime leaves, left whole (available fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
– 3 cups pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
– 2 cups yam, peeled and cut into chunks
– 1-2 cups soft tofu, sliced into cubes OR substitute chickpeas or cooked shrimp
– 1 shallot, minced, OR 1/4 cup minced purple onion
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, grated or sliced thinly into matchsticks
– 1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili, OR 1-2 tsp. chili sauce
– 1/2 tsp. turmeric
– 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
– 1 tsp. ground cumin
– 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
– 1 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
– 1 tsp. brown sugar
– 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
– 1 generous handful baby spinach, washed
– 1/2 cup fresh basil + 1/2 cup fresh coriander for toppings

1.Place stock in a pot over high heat. Add the prepared lemongrass (plus leftover stalk if using fresh lemongrass), the kefir lime leaves, shallot, garlic, galangal or ginger, and chili. Bring to a boil.
2.Add the pumpkin (or squash) and yam. Reduce heat slightly and gently boil for 6-7 minutes.
3.While the soup is cooking, add the spices/flavorings, stirring with each addition: turmeric, ground coriander and cumin, fish sauce, shrimp paste, brown sugar, and lime juice. Tip: Don’t be tempted to omit the fish sauce and shrimp paste – they smell bad, but make for wonderfully-flavored soup!
4.When pumpkin and yam are soft enough to eat, reduce heat to low. Now stir in the coconut milk (start with 1/3 can and increase to 1/2 can depending on how creamy you want it).
5.Stir well and taste-test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough (this will depend on the taste of your original stock). Add more lime juice if it’s too salty or sweet. If it’s too sour for your liking, add a little more sugar; also adjust the spice level by adding more chili. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
6.Just before serving, add the soft tofu and spinach and gently stir it into the soup (the spinach will wilt instantly). Portion out into bowls and top with the fresh basil and coriander. Note that this soup is usually served with rice on the side, but it could also be served with noodles. Enjoy!

Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup Recipe

Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup Recipe


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- who has written 228 posts on Thailand Cooking & Thai Food.

I write about Thai food and i also teach Thai and do Thai translations.

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