January 10, 2009
pumpkins last forever, and thank goodness for that, because pumpkin #2 from last year’s harvest has been sitting on my counter since September.
this soup is from bill granger’s Simply Bill. i really like his recipes. straightforward, delicious, uncomplicated – everything that i’ve tried so far (okay, all 5 recipes) has turned out very well.
my one small (eeny) criticism is that the book is filled with gorgeous envy-inducing photos of him and his family looking very lovely and australian in a donna hay kind of way and the man seems to live in all-white clothing. i don’t know about you, but i cook swathed in large bib-style aprons that my Nana made for me, and i still get splattered. also, he never seems to look directly at the camera, and i’m not sure why. Is he slightly cross-eyed or just avoiding me for some reason? maybe he doesn’t want to look at the mess i’ve made of my kitchen…
1 volley-ball size pumpkin
an inch of ginger, minced
1 pkge of Thai red curry paste (i used Asian Home Gourmet) or 2 tsp (Bill’s amount)
170 ml (1/2 can) light coconut milk (you can freeze the other half)
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
salt to taste (my preference) or 1 tsp sugar (his suggestion)
roast the pumpkin by cutting it in half, splashing some olive oil on a rimmed cookie sheet and baking it cut-side down in a on a tray – 45 minutes in a 375º oven should do it. Check to see if it’s tender. Let it cool a bit before chunking it off the skin. I cut the pumpkin halves into strips, make vertical cuts down to (but not through the skin) and then slide the knife between flesh and skin (this sounds rather gory) to separate it into neat little chunks. I’m only telling you this in case you’re at all slow on the uptake (like me) and curiously persist in trying to scrape the pumpkin off with a spoon. why would i even do this? i think it has to do with getting rid of the guts in jack-o-lanterns – old habits and all that. Oh, and i seem to have forgotten to mention the guts. You can either get rid of them before roasting or wait until after – i don’t think it makes a difference.
Add a splash of olive oil, plus the onion, ginger and curry paste to a large saucepan and cook for a few minutes over medium-heat. Add the pumpkin and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend it up and then add coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and salt or sugar. Simmer for another 5 minutes before serving. Add fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish, if you are so inclined.
Served 2 adults and 3 smallish kids with enough left over for lunch the next day.
As usual, this is my modified version – more spice, etc. also, i roasted the pumpkin first for more flavor before adding it to the soup, whereas he just chops it up and cooks it in the water. actually, now that i read the recipe, he calls it a “butternut pumpkin (squash)”, so maybe this isn’t really a recipe for what i would call a pumpkin, but rather for a butternut squash. hmm. well, it’s all gourd to me!