As the temperature starts to drop, and [thanks to the end of daylight savings] as most of us are getting home from work in the dark, a comforting soup is the perfect midweek dinner [great to have on standby].
I tend to make a big batch of my Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and freeze into individual portions so that I have some on standby for a quick mid-week dinner when I don’t have the energy to cook something from scratch.
Even though this recipe is called pumpkin soup, I prefer to use butternut squash – it lends a sweeter, nutty flavour and I find it easier to peel and chop than pumpkin. The red lentils add protein, fibre and some extra bulk to the soup that transforms this recipe from a snack to a meal. No need to add extra salt because the stock contains plenty to season the soup.
Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil [whatever you have on hand – olive oil, vegetable oil etc]
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste [any good store-bought curry paste you like]
- 1 large onion
- 1 or 2 chillies [optional]
- 1/2 a butternut squash or approximately 750g of pumpkin
- 1 celery stick
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cup of red lentils
- 1 x 400ml can coconut cream [or coconut milk if you are watching your fat intake – shake can before using because solids may have separated out]
- 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes in juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder [I use Vegeta brand, or if you have homemade stock, use this instead and discard the need to add water]
- Water to cover
- 1 bunch of coriander [including roots, if you can find it]
- Peel and chop the butternut squash into cubes, discarding the seeds and skin.
- Finely chop the celery stick, coriander stalks and root [reserve coriander leaves for garnishing]
- Finely chop the onion, and chillies if using
- Heat oil in large pot over medium heat, add onion, chillies and curry paste. Cook until onion softens, stirring occasionally.
- Add the celery, chopped coriander stalks and root, chopped butternut squash, tinned tomatoes, lentils, kaffir lime leaves, coconut cream and vegetable stock. Add water to cover the ingredients – I fill up the empty cans when doing this to get the last of the coconut cream / tomatoes out and into the soup. Place lid on the pot and turn up heat until pot comes to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils and pumpkin are soft and cooked, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing catches and burns on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove kaffir lime leaves and discard.
- Blend soup with stick mixer until smooth. [Or transfer in small batches to a blender – be careful doing this in a blender because the hot liquid will release steam, build up pressure and may cause the lid to come off, covering you and your kitchen with hot soup. Don’t overfill the blender, release the centre of the blender lid to allow steam to escape and hold lid on with a tea towel while processing to avoid ending up with a mess and / or burns.]
- Soup can be eaten straight away with a sprinkle of coriander leaves on top, or cooled and reheated later. Also freezes well – freeze in 1 portion size containers of about 500mls. This is delicious served with warmed garlic naan bread alongside [not very authentically Thai but tasty all the same].
What are your favourite recipes to fight off the cooler weather? Has this post inspired any new ideas?