Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving! I love that this celebration of thankfulness, goodness, food, and bounty falls in October in Canada- it just makes so much sense! All of the amazing foods are in season, harvest time for the best fruits and vegis of the year. Dustin and I spent a few hours working at my studio getting it all cleaned up for my upcoming maternity leave. When we came on home all I wanted was to do was COOK. Definitely I was in the mood for some comfort food… Oh comfort food! I was thinking spicy, and pumpkin, and soup… And then there was all this Thai Basil from the garden waiting for some love…
When I posted over on facebook that I was gonna try to make a soup, I got a few requests for a recipe! Well, I’ll try to get it as close as I can, as it was one of those ‘just wing it’ kinds of cooking nights. I recommend tasting and adding as you go. The Basil and Chilies came out of the garden- and other than a few green tomatoes and a SCHWACK of chilies still hanging on, the garden is pretty much done- a nice way to celebrate it’s finish!
Charles recommended the addition of lemon grass, and I can only imagine that would be awesome! If I had any, I for sure would have put some of that it. So here’s what I remember about yesterday, and a few ideas for adjustments:
Thai Basil Coconut Pumpkin Soup- itsa spicey
1 small/medium size pumpkin
3 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2-3 Tbsp Thai Green Curry paste (or more, to taste)
1 can coconut milk
3 red or green hot chilies (this gave a really nice heat, but feel free to add more if you like it SPICEY!!) NOTE: Dustin said to warn that these chilies from the garden weren’t THAT hot, so if you are going for some store bought hot chilies, be aware of your own spice levels, and maybe 1-2 chilies would be enough.
2 bunches of thai basil, finely chopped- RESERVE a few leaves for garnish
salt to taste
3-4 cups of soup broth (chicken or vegi)
- chicken or pork, cut into small strips
- toasted pumpkin seeds!
Chop the pumpkin into large chunks, rub lightly with oil and salt, and bake for an hour on medium (350?) heat.
While the pumpkin is baking, saute onions and garlic until very soft and caramelized. Toss in whole chilies (chop off the stem-tops) and saute on low with onion/garlic. (Add Lemon Grass here if you have it!) When pumpkin is soft, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then peel the skins, throwing the pumpkin meat into the onion mix.
Mix in 3 cups of the broth and Thai paste. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut milk, and chopped thai basil, and stir. Taste mixture at this time- need more curry paste? Mix in more as desired for taste.
If you added them, remove the lemon grass chunks at this time.
Blend the soup in batches to a creamy consistency. Return blended soup to the pot, and add more broth as needed, depending on your preferred thickness, and add salt and more curry paste!, as you prefer for taste.
If you want to add meat, do so here, and allow the soup to cook for another 15-20 minutes until the meat is cooked through. (I made it with chicken, and holy yummy yum.) Just before serving, garnish with a few of those basil leaves (and some toasted pumpkin seeds!). Ta-da!!
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, I recommend roasting up those pumpkin seeds while the soup is cooking. They add a nice additional garnish to the soup, and snack for later! (OR sprinkled on vanilla ice-cream with a dash of cinnamon! YES!)