Photo courtesy of Earthbound Farm.
Do you only associate coconut with the summertime? Think again! Combining coconut with pumpkin makes for a sweet fall flavor you’ll crave all autumn long. This recipe also uses lemongrass, which adds a subtle lemon flavor without the bitter citrus. You can even add spice to the soup by chopping a fresh jalapeño pepper for added spice. Spicy foods are great for your health and have shown to increase life span.
Lemongrass is a staple of many Asian cuisines; it’s used like an herb to add a subtle, aromatic, lemon-like flavor without the bite of citrus. It’s generally available in most well-stocked supermarkets, specialty food stores and Asian markets. Sold in individual stalks that are long, pale green and reed-like, only the inner core of the lower 5 inches of the stalks is usable. To prepare lemongrass, cut off and discard the root end and the reedy top, leaving about 5 inches of usable stalk. Peel and discard the outer 3 layers of leaves, or as many as necessary to reach the pale, soft inner core. Then finely slice the stalk or crush it with the side of a cleaver.
Remove two tablespoons of the coconut cream on the top of the can of milk and set aside for garnish.
Place the remaining coconut milk in a large saucepan and add the pumpkin purée, lemongrass and ginger. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the lime juice, sweet chili sauce and the jalapeño. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pass the soup through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl; discard the solids.
Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat gently. Season with salt to taste. If the soup is too thick, thin with a bit of water. Serve hot, garnishing each portion with a drizzle of the reserved coconut cream.