Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Do you only associate coconut with the summertime? Think again! Combining coconut with pumpkin makes for a sweet fall...
Contributor

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.

Notes

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.

Ingredients

  • can coconut milk
  • can pumpkin purée
  • stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1/4  Cup  fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2  Tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 2  Teaspoons  sweet chili sauce
  • 1  Teaspoon  fresh jalapeño or Serrano chile, chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Directions

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.

Pumpkin Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Pumpkin Cooking Tip

Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.