Thai Pumpkin Soup

I love the farmer’s market, especially in fall.  Although the excitement of summer tomatoes, corn and zucchini is over by now, the thought of shopping for pumpkins, squash, cipollini onions, and frost-kissed spinach makes me squeal with delight.  This past Saturday, as I strolled around the square, bundled enough to guard from the chilly breeze, I couldn’t stop staring at all the beautiful pumpkins.  Blue pumpkins, white pumpkins, carving pumpkins, pumpkin pie pumpkins-the list goes on!  I had to buy one.

After talking with one of the pumpkin vendors, I decided on a blue-gray pumpkin (I can’t recall the name) that was supposed to have a bright orange flesh and sweet flavor.  I waddled home with the five pound beauty, visions of pumpkin dishes running through my head.

I remembered seeing a tempting Thai pumpkin soup on Heidi’s site a while back, and, after revisiting the recipe, could not imagine a more fitting use for the morning’s purchase.  A purée of sweet, roasted pumpkin, combined with the heat of red curry paste, this soup is sure to please on a cold fall day.  For an extra treat, make sure to toast the seeds with salt and cinnamon to serve alongside.

Blue Pumpkin

Thai Pumpkin Soup
(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
I topped this soup with a papaya-ginger yogurt sauce and, as hinted to above, toasted pumpkin seeds.  The dish received RAVE reviews!  Also, make sure you have a sharp knife handy before attempting to cut the pumpkin into wedges.  The hefty task  took my skimpy muscles 30 minutes!
1 large pumpkin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 cans coconut milk
1 small jar Thai red curry paste (about 1/4 cup)
1 quart vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the pumpkin into small wedges and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Drizzle the pumpkin with olive oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and black pepper.  Roast until the pumpkin is fully cooked, approximately 1 hour.
Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin and place in a large stockpot.  Add the coconut milk and curry paste.  Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat  for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until silky smooth.  Alternatively, puree the soup in batches using a regular blender.  As always, be extremely careful not to burn yourself from the steam.  At this point, the soup is extremely thick.  Thin the mixture out with vegetable stock until your ideal texture is reached.  Adjust seasonings accordingly and serve.

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