Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin and Coconut cream soup

Once upon a time, my dad took me to a Thai restaurant just outside of Toronto. On the menu, I saw "spicy pumpkin soup" and I being one to try new and strange things, gave it a go. I loved it and it was one of my most revered culinary experiences to this day. At the time I couldn't make a soup to save my life, and so it went untried at Chez Brendan. Until that is I went on a shopping spree at the farmers market on the way to the cottage, and saw pumpkins that inspired a legendary soup.

I remembered the elements of the soup and tried to work from there. I assure you once you try this soup you will have a hard time using a pumpkin for a Jack-o-Lantern again.

Pumpkin and Coconut cream soup:

1 med pumpkin (6-8 cups peeled and cubed)
2 L chicken/vegetable stock
2 heads of roasted garlic (if you want to save time, you can use 3 regular garlic cloves-minced)
3 carrots
1 onion
4 stalks of celery
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cumin,
1/2 tsp grated ginger *if you keep a knob of ginger in the freezer it's easier to grate
pinch of sage, cinnamon and cayenne
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp sriracha (flavourful Thai hot sauce)
1 can of coconut milk

Roast garlic:
Take 2 heads of garlic slice the tops off and individually wrap heads in foil. Bake in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. When they are done you should be able to squeeze the garlic out like a paste.

Pumpkin Soup:
Use fresh pumpkin. I have tried 2 variations for the cooking method of the pumpkin. I tossed it with brown sugar cayenne and cinnamon then roasted it, which is the best way and it can be cooked with the garlic. but the easiest is to just cube and simmer with broth and spices. Your choice. The main difference is when you add the pumpkin, if you roast it add it in the last 5 mins.

Prep all your ingredients first, because this is a pureed soup you can chop the vegetables roughly.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a soup pot (6 L or bigger). Soften onions for about 2 mins then add carrots and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 mins, add minced garlic and bay leaves, cook while stirring for long enough to smell garlic. Then immediately add a splash of stock.

Simmering Pumpkin option:
Add pumpkin at this stage and the rest of stock.

Roasted Pumpkin option:
Add rest of stock, spices and add pumpkin 5 mins before done (other vegetables mash able).

Add spices, and Sriracha. Bring to a soft boil, then reduce the heat to low, and cook until vegetables are mash able. Using a hand blender puree until smooth, and then add can of coconut milk. Serve and Enjoy.

Bon app├ętit!

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