When it comes to pumpkin, the man and I are in total agreement. The only way we appreciate it is roasted or in a Thai flavoured pumpkin soup. There are so many recipes around for Thai pumpkin soup that are essentially a standard pumpkin soup with curry paste and coconut milk added. I've made soups like this before so I decided to create my own this time with additional ingredients to enhance the Thai flavours.
I had some Thai green chillies and lemongrass in the fridge that needed using up and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Red lentils have been finding their way into a lot of my blended soups recently as I love their thickening quality, the nutritional value is just an added bonus. Our little kaffir lime tree had a couple of leaves stripped off for this purpose and I chose to use some Thai thin soy sauce in place of vegetable stock. The Thai thin soy sauce isn't an essential ingredient, regular soy sauce or vegetable stock could be used in it's place which is how I have written the recipe.
It turned out to be fairly spicy which is exactly how I planned it. The amount of chillies could be reduced or omitted to suit personal tastes. I loved the slight undertone of the kaffir lime and lemongrass in this soup and enjoyed an extra squeeze of lime halfway through my bowl.
Thai pumpkin and lentil soup
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Thai green chillies, sliced finely
3 tablespoon vegan red curry paste (Maesri brand)
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water (or use vegetable stock if not using soy sauce)
1 kg jap pumpkin, cut into chunks
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass
3 tablespoons Thai thin soy sauce (or regular soy sauce or omit and use vegetable stock)
165ml tin coconut milk
fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
lime wedges, for serving (optional)
Heat the oil in a stockpot and add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat until softened then stir through the garlic and chillies for a minute. Add the red curry paste, lentils, water (or stock), pumpkin, and kaffir lime leaves. Trim the end of the lemongrass and remove the outer layer, then pound the stalk gently using the back of a knife so that it releases more flavour into the soup. Add the lemongrass stalk to the pot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
Discard the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves then transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and process in batches until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and place on low heat. Stir through the Thai thin soy sauce, coconut milk and lime juice. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with wedges of lime.