Yes, it's Halloween on Thursday and people are doing all manner of things with pumpkins (such as carving them into Jack O'Lanterns) - apart from cooking with them! Here's a recipe for a lovely soup, with a touch of spice, to serve on the day - or, indeed, at any time. Look for a good quality red curry paste to give it depth of flavour.
- vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons
- onion - 1 medium, peeled and finely chopped
- red curry paste - 2 1/2 tablespoons, good quality or home-made
- butternut pumpkin - 1.5kg, peeled and cut in chunks
- chicken stock - 1 Litre
- salt - 1 teaspoon, or to taste
- coconut cream - 140ml tin
- Extra coconut cream
- fresh coconut flesh - peeled (optional - or use shredded fresh coconut (available in packets at the supermarket)
- small red chilli - 1, seeds removed and julienned (optional)
- fresh kaffir lime leaves - very thinly sliced
Serves 4 - 6
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat and sweat the onion until soft. Stir in the curry paste and cook 4 - 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Put in the pumpkin, stock and salt. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer until pumpkin is tender.
Remove from heat and cool a little before pureeing in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to pan, taste for seasoning and add the coconut cream. Re-heat but do not boil as the coconut cream will split.
Ladle into warm bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of coconut cream and garnish with fresh coconut peels and chilli.
Tip: the soup can also be garnished with finely shredded kaffir limes which will give it more of a Thai flavour.