This Thai pumpkin soup is creamy and full of flavour, zest and spice. It’s filling enough for a meal or can be paired with shredded or diced chicken or grilled prawns for extra protein. It’s paleo, gluten-free, Whole30 and vegan-friendly.
Yesterday was cold and rainy and since I was working at home I decided to treat myself to something warm and comforting. I had some sweet pumpkin, brown onion, leftover coriander stalks and a few other Asian ingredients in the fridge from the curry I made a few days before. A bit of this, a bit of that, and some coconut cream and I ended up with one of the best pumpkin soups I’ve ever made. Not kidding!
This paleo friendly, spicy pumpkin soup is very easy to make. You might not have all of the ingredients (a trip to the Asian grocer or your local markets will help) but the recipe is a good template to play around with and to substitute some of the spices or herbs with whatever you have on hand. The soup is dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly (omit the fish sauce), and Whole30 compliant.
PS. This recipe is so good it made it into my internationally published Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook.
- Fresh turmeric and galangal roots can be replaced with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of galangal powder. You can also just add 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder. Kent or butternut pumpkin can be used; sweet potato and carrots would also work well if you don’t have any pumpkin. Also, clean pumpkin puree out of a can will do just as well.
- Coconut cream: Full-fat coconut milk can be used if you can’t find coconut cream. Simply put a can of coconut milk in a fridge for an hour or so to thicken up the top layer of the milk. Open the can without shaking and use the thickened coconut milk, which is what coconut cream is. Choose coconut milk with 50-60% coconut content, not the diluted coconut milk drink as that will not thicken.
- For a vegan version, replace fish sauce with some coconut aminos or Tamari sauce.
This paleo and vegetarian-friendly Thai pumpkin soup is spicy, warm and a little exotic. Sweet potato and carrots can be used instead of pumpkin. Winter squash or sweet pumpkin can be used.
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 lemongrass stalk, cut in thirds
- 1 long red chilli, diced and deseeded
- 2 tablespoons diced fresh coriander (cilantro) stalks/roots
- 2-cm (3/4″) fresh galangal piece (or 1 teaspoon powder, but optional)
- 2-cm (3/4″) turmeric root piece (or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, optional
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 4 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin (sweet kind like Kent/Jap is best)
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (use coconut aminos or Tamari as an alternative)
- 1 litre (1 qt.) vegetable stock
- Peel from half of fresh lime
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (100ml or 3 1/2 fl. oz.), plus extra to serve (see notes above)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Coriander/cilantro leaves to serve
- Add the onion, lemongrass, chilli, coriander stalks, galangal, turmeric and kaffir lime leaves to a medium saucepan and sauté in coconut oil over medium heat for 2–3 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin, garlic, lime peel, fish sauce and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, covered, until pumpkin is soft when poked with a knife.
- Remove the turmeric, galangal, lime peel and lemongrass from the soup and transfer the rest to a food processor or a blender, in batches if needed. Puree until smooth, then add the coconut cream and lime juice. Whiz a couple more times to incorporate. Serve with a ripple of coconut cream and fresh coriander leaves on top.