I borrowed a cook book from the library last week called Five of the Best by Valli Little. It was printed to celebrate five years of the Australian food magazine Delicious. I read cookbooks the way some people read novels and by the time I had finished going through the recipes I had decided to buy a copy so I ordered one from the ABC bookshop. So far I’ve made several dishes including Tuna Stuffed Capsicum, Cauliflower Cheese Soup, Baked Eggplant with Goat Cheese and Cream and Thai Pumpkin Soup – all very good. We’re not vegetarians, but sometimes I think it makes a nice change to skip meat for a few days. Here’s the Pumpkin Soup recipe.
Thai Pumpkin Soup with Coriander Pesto
2 bunches fresh coriander, roots trimmed
(a few leaves reserved for garnish)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
4 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp grated ginger (I used a bit more)
1 Tbs Thai red curry paste
1 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 cups (500ml) vegetable or chicken stock
400ml can light coconut milk
thinly sliced red onion and thinly sliced red
chilli, to garnish
To make the pesto place coriander, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic in food processor. Process adding 3 Tbs oil to make a sauce consistency, season to taste.
Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium head. Add onion and stir for a minute. Add ginger and curry paste and stir for a minute. Add pumpkin and stock, bring to the boil, then simmer 15 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked. Cool a bit then blend until smooth. Return to the pan, add coconut milk and season, then warm through.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a swirl of pesto, some onion, chilli and reserved coriander leaves.
Note: to make a more substantial meal, serve with croutons or toast.