Thai Pumpkin Soup

Perth has rain!  This makes me so happy, and also my garden happy.  It started to rain on the day of my friend’s wedding so not the best day of the year, however they were lucky enough to enjoy the ceremony outside along the river with no rain - it was as if it stopped for just enough time for them to get married and take some beautiful photos.  The wedding itself was so much fun, so a quick thank you to Taryn and Heath, and congratulations again!

But back to the rain.  Isn't it funny that as soon as it rains we start thinking about putting the heavier doona on the bed, or taking a warmer jacket or cardigan with us everywhere, or my favourite, winter food?  I made a lovely chicken noodle soup last week, so on Sunday I decided to make another one, this time Thai Pumpkin Soup.

I've made this soup in the past and really liked it, but there were a couple of things about it I would have changed.  I originally grabbed it from the ninemsn website (here), and followed it along with a couple exceptions.  The problem was the coconut cream, fish sauce and lime - the three of them in the recommended quantities was just too over-powering.  All the flavour of the pumpkin was lost.  I also thought that the use of ginger and shallots seemed unnecessary because of the red curry paste.

With all my adjustments I ended up with a great soup - a twist on the classic pumpkin soup that's for sure!  My recommendation is to add the coconut cream and fish sauce a bit at a time and taste to your liking.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower or peanut is fine)
2 tablespoons red curry paste
½ onion, chopped finely
1.5 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and chopped coarsely
2 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
4 cups vegetable stock (chicken stock is fine)
½ cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Heat the oil in a large pot and add the curry paste.  Cook off the paste until fragrant, then add the onion and continue cooking until the onion is translucent.  Add the pumpkin and tomato and stir to coated with the paste. 

Add the stock and bring the pot to the boil.  Then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and cooked through. 

Blend the soup in batches and return to a clean pot, pushing through a sieve first as you go - this will remove any tomato seeds, skin or rough bit of the curry paste.  Bring the soup back to a gentle simmer and add the coconut cream and fish sauce.  In a small bowl, add the brown sugar and a couple of tablespoons of the soup and mix until the sugar has dissolved. 
Return the sugar to the pot and mix well.

Serves 4-6.