Prepare: 20 min
Cook: 30 min
It’s that time of year again where the pumpkins are reappearing in the shops, along with the monkey nuts and creepy costumes and I wanted to take full advantage of these Pumpkins and create a batch of Thai pumpkin soup. When I think of Halloween I think of dressing up in a horribly tacky costume, covering myself in fake blood and running around like a 10 year old. Even though I’m now 28 I still have an absolute blast. I love that for one night, or sometimes one weekend, out of the year everyone forgets they are an adult with responsibilities; we throw away our inhibitions, dress up and create awesome memories.
I’ve always loved this time of year and looking back I wish I didn’t give up ‘trick or treating’ so early. Getting as many sweets as humanly possibly was just fantastic. My brother and I use to come home after Halloween and hide all our sweets so that neither of us could steal each other’s or worse still…that Mum or Dad found them.
Dressing up was always fun too. For a good few years I was a famous witch, spending the day before Halloween running into RS McColl’s and buying a witch’s set which basically consisted of a black plastic bag, a hat and fake long nails. I remember the night I cried before going out for Halloween as my dad was trying to stick sugar puffs to my face to make me a more convincing witch. Looking back he had the right idea and I would’ve looked pretty convincing however I was adamant it wasn’t happening.
There were loads more great costumes such as the year I was a black cat and my mum made me my own black fur costume for my school disco. I dressed as Posh Spice one year when I went through my stage of wanting to be a member of the spice girls. Morticia Adams where I spent the night scratching my head from the black wig and Bay City Rollers when my mum dressed me in head to toe tartan. Everyone knew who I was dressed as apart from me. I had no idea who the Bay City Rollers were at the time.
Carving pumpkins and removing the guts
I loved getting a pumpkin and carving a scary face into it. I remember my brother and I having competitions of who could carve the scariest face. It was blooming hard work to carve and pull out all the guts when you are only 8 and 4.
Even now when the pumpkins reappear I get excited and want to start carving faces into them. It took me a long time, probably until my early 20’s until I realised that you could eat them. I mean I knew about pumpkin pie and you ate that but for some reason it hadn’t all clicked in my head. When you think of pumpkins you just think of scary carved faces.
Well who knew that I could make so much with a large pumpkin? Plus considering they only cost about a quid to buy I am starting to realise they are pretty awesome. I have played around with a few recipes and one is this delicious Thai pumpkin soup inspired by the Thai cuisine. Beautiful creamy texture and warming thanks to the lovely ginger and chili. This will definitely heat you up on a cold night.
Plus all those seeds in the inside of the pumpkin don’t need to go to waste. These make a great topping for the soup or can be eaten on their own as a healthy snack.
So go and buy yourself some pumpkin or butternut squash as an alternative and make a big batch of soup. Freeze the leftovers and this Thai pumpkin soup will always ensure you have something yummy to tuck into on a cold night.
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 large pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into chunks
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped ginger
- 1 tsp chopped red chilli
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 200ml coconut milk
- Juice of ¼ lime
1 Heat the oil to a large pot over a medium temperature. Add the garlic, ginger and onion and gently sauté for 10 minutes until the onions become translucent in colour. Be careful not to burn the onions.
2 Next add all the pumpkin, chilli and the vegetable stock to the pot. You may need to add a little extra stock depending on the size of pumpkin you used. You want the stock to just cover the pumpkin mixture and no more. Too much water will make the soup very thin at the next stage of the cooking process.
3 Simmer the mixture over a low to medium heat for 30 minutes until the pumpkin has become soft.
4 Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds and remove any remnants of pumpkin.
5 Put the seeds on a baking tray along with a tbsp. of coconut oil plus your chosen seasoning. Mix well and cook at 180°C for 10 to 15 minutes until they have turned golden brown in colour. The seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.
6 Add the soup mixture to a blender or use a hand mixer and blend to a smooth consistency.
7 Finally add the coconut milk and juice of the lime. Serve in warm bowls with a wee drizzle of coconut milk on top and some freshly cooked pumpkin seeds.
Top Tip: Pumpkins can be found in shops all year round (not just at Halloween) you just need to hunt them out a bit. If you can’t find any pumpkins then you can use butternut squash instead as it’s very similar in taste and texture.
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