Given that pumpkins are synonymous here with fall leaves and cooler weather, it's hard to remember that there are a lot of Asian dishes that include pumpkin, and several ingredients that are seasonal that grow in a second herb harvest for the fall. It's a shorter season, but that one last burst of herbs and greens is a nice gift before winter sets in.
This soup combines the garlic harvest, cilantro, lemongrass and of course, pumpkin.
Asian-style Pumpkin Soup
1 bunch lemongrass, thinly sliced root part 1-inch, or you can find it in a jar at the store
1 bunch green onions, whites and 1-inch of greens sliced
2 cloves garlic
1.5 tbs. grated ginger
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. key lime, or lime juice
3.5 cups pumpkin puree (made mine fresh, or use 2 cans)
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground galangal (penzeys.com or ground ginger)
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil, add the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, green onions and sweat for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice, chicken stock, pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, adding the red pepper flakes and galangal. Swirl in the coconut milk and sugar, bring back to a simmer. Use a stick blender to completely puree the soup until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, garnish with the cilantro. Sriracha hot sauce also makes a nice garnish.
If you like a more traditional pumpkin or squash soup, this French Heirloom Pumpkin Soup is a nice version. Not sure which type of pumpkin to use? Here are a few tips on edible pumpkins. Finally, if you like curry better, here's a Curried Pumpkin Soup.
Be safe trick or treating tonight!