Monday, November 22, 2010

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Here's one of my favorite soups. It's got sort of a Thai feeling to it. It's warming from the spices and if you make up a good sized batch, you can have a few meals out of it. Varying the add-ins will keep it interesting and keep food boredom at bay. Start with the basic ingredients (coconut milk, canned pumpkin, chicken stock) and add your own favorites as you see fit. I'm not one of those people who ever makes the same thing the same way twice. But that's what keeps life interesting, isn't it?

Start with:
1 can coconut milk (the real, full fat kind)
1 can pumpkin puree (do I need to say get the kind that it JUST pumpkin, not sweetened?)
2 to 4 cups of chicken stock, depending on how thick you like your soup. (Home made is best. Just save all your chicken bones in a bag in the freezer and make a batch of stock once a month. Your stomach and taste buds will thank you.)

Bring all that to a simmer and add some or all of the following:
Fish sauce, to taste
Diced red pepper

Fresh Ginger, diced finely
Tamarind Paste (unsweetened, adds a nice tart flavour. Optional, you can use lime juice instead. Or use them both.)
Lime Juice
Curry Leaves (if you can get these, they are divine! Located in the produce section of any good Indian grocer.)
Turmeric (adds an amazing yellow colour to the soup and is an anti-inflammatory in conjunction with the ginger!)

Simmer a bit longer. Adjust seasonings. Take off of the heat and add in some:
Scallions/green onions

If I'm making a big batch to eat later, I like to leave out the cilantro, scallions and lime. After I reheat whatever portion I am eating, I'll add those in to the individual serving. This keeps the soup from tasting flat and boring. Nothing like the pop from some freshly chopped herbs to make a meal sing!

You can add some shredded, cooked chicken or other meats to make a nice quick, vegetable filled meal. Makes a great breakfast on a chilly morning. Enjoy!

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