Thai Pumpkin Soup

I wasn’t particularly looking for a pumpkin soup recipe, mostly because I do not like pumpkin soup, but rather I was looking for something to do with the cooked pumpkin I had on hand that wasn’t pumpkin bread. That particular pumpkin hunt turned into Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (and bread) but along the way I stumbled on a Thai pumpkin soup recipe. This sounded intriguing so I picked up two pie pumpkins and started souping.

The two things that keep me firmly skeptical of pumpkin soup are that I was scarred by it early in my childhood and the fact that it doesn’t taste really good to begin with. When I was younger, my mom went off on a nut one year making pumpkin soup every three days. Maybe every week or possibly once every other week but the point is that we had pumpkin soup an awful damn lot in a very short stretch of time. Mom’s recipe included bread that you drowned in cream and then smothered in cheese and although I’d normally be the first one to applaud a cheese hat, in this case it was used more to cover up the crime of murdering the bread. So you had a dead bready mushy cheese strangled mess inside a pumpkin which you then had to dish out scraping the sides to get any pumpkin meat. Very unappetizing.

Later in life I got to try some of Rob’s pumpkin soup, which was a very different beast indeed (being made of pureed pumpkin meat and spices), and…I still hated it. No offence to Rob, who is an awesome cook, but the pumpkin soup tasted like someone had oddly spiced and then drowned pumpkin meat. I think maybe I just don’t like watery pumpkin because the same spices in cooked pumpkin meat would have been awesome.

Thus, it was with trepidation that I embarked on Thai Pumpkin soup since I normally do not like pumpkin soup and TheMan normally does not like squash. However, we have both been loving the forays into other nation’s cuisines so I thought I ought to give it a go.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
2 small fresh red chili peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped lemon grass
2 1/8 cups chicken stock
4 cups peeled and diced pumpkin
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 bunch fresh basil leaves


In a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter over low heat. Cook garlic, shallots, chilies, and lemongrass in oil until fragrant (be careful not to burn the garlic). Stir in chicken stock, coconut milk, and pumpkin; bring to a boil. Cook until pumpkin softens.

In a blender, blend the soup in batches to a smooth or slightly chunky consistency, whatever you prefer. Serve with basil leaves.

Production Notes
1. YUM! YUM hat 2 in fact.

2. We did a little tweaking of the ingredients, namely we subbed in heavy cream for coconut milk and used some of our dried chili peppers instead of fresh. I actually had shallots but I wound up with twice as much pumpkin meat so we also chucked in some regular onion.

3. Lemon grass was a bit difficult to find and TheMan didn’t like the texture (a bit woody) and I wasn’t sold on the flavor (lemony…huh). We could sub chives next time maybe, or possibly take the grass out once it’s all cooked.

4. We got two of the most ridiculously tough skinned pie pumpkins ever to be grown in the New World. TheMan skinned one of the pair (per instructions) and then threw his hands up in defeat. It took him about as long to skin that one pumpkin as it would have for him to potato peeler the Formica from the top of the kitchen counter and that is more time than it should take to do anything food prep related. I wound up cooking the second pumpkin in the usual cooked pumpkin fashion and couldn’t pierce the skin after an hour. I couldn’t even dent the skin after an hour. In fact, the skin rang like a meaty bell as I donked it with the fork several times. I left the pumpkin in for another half hour and still the fork wouldn’t even scratch the shell. 1.5 hours is easily enough for even the biggest pie pumpkin to cook so I yoinked it from the oven and scraped the meat out of a coconut shell hard skin. I could have actually made a bikini top out of my pumpkin halves and with a little lacquering they would have held up as well as Slave Leia’s costume from Return of the Jedi. My Pumpkini would have been cooler though because I would have cut Jack-o-Lantern faces out of them, lined them with some sort of black backing and rigged lights to flicker through the carved pumpkin face.

4a. All that to say we ditched the puree part and decided to keep the peeled pumpkin chunky bits and use the cooked meat as the pureed bits. This worked out smashingly well so we’ll be doing this from now on; half the recipe cooked and half diced. Hopefully all without having to deal with another Cucurbita titaniumus skinnus.

5. Use the basil, it really adds to the fantastic that is this soup. We sprinkled some dry basil on the top but I’m sure fresh basil is tasty too.

2009: Working out: Still doing it. I’d give you a day count but that would involve maths and I’m super lazy at the moment.

2008: Perhaps I ought to consider an earlier boots-by-date next year.

2007: JSFR: Bourbon Petit Series Chip (teriyaki mayonnaise)

2006: Incidentally, what is he presenting there, a plate of apples? It’s full of round apply looking things and unless they are apply painted gold they certainly aren’t frankincense or myrrh.

2005: Will Joy come off my shit list? Probably not unless this turns out to be really amazing chicken.

2004: December. Gosh.

2003: Yes, sandals. Shut up, it’s sandals until the things rot off my feet alright?

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