Traditional Chinese medicine recommends eating foods in season to help keep your body in balance with the natural environment. Root veggies and pumpkin are good foods to eat in fall and winter. This hearty, creamy, dairy-free soup is delicious, simple to make, and very soothing on a cold day. Serve by itself or with a slice of good bread. Here is Linda’s recipe:
1 small pumpkin (I prefer kabocha pumpkin)
1-2 medium potatoes
1 qt veggie soup stock (or chicken stock), fresh or canned
1 can coconut milk (sometimes called coconut cream)
2-3 tsp freshly grated ginger (or approx. 1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
Dash of lime juice
1/2 tsp Thai green chili paste* or Thai red chili paste* or a dash of chili flakes
Cilantro for garnish *available in Asian sections of supermarkets
NOTE: There is plenty of “wiggle room” in this recipe. Ingredient amounts are not exact as the size of pumpkin will vary. It’s much easier to get it “right” than it is to go wrong. Let your taste buds guide you with the seasonings. About the pumpkin peel: kabocha pumpkin peel is soft and tasty so leave it on. Orange “Halloween” pumpkin peel tastes fine on smaller pumpkins but can be tougher and woodier as the pumpkins get larger. If in doubt, peel the orange pumpkin before cooking.
1. Split pumpkin into halves (click here to learn how), scoop out the seeds, (if using orange pumpkin, peel it if desired,) then chop into cubes.
2. Chop potatoes into cubes. (You may first peel them if desired. I prefer to leave skins on for fiber and nutrients)
3. Place pumpkin, potato and soup stock in a large pot. Boil gently approx. 30 minutes until pumpkin and potato are tender and mushy.
3. Add coconut milk. Stir well. Reduce heat to low.
4. Add ginger and lime juice to taste. Stir. Optional: Add chili paste or chili flakes. Stir.
[Tip: If soup needs more depth to the taste, then add a dash of ground cumin]
5. By now, the soup is thick and creamy. Ladle soup into bowls. Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.