7 November 2011

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

It's raining! That might not be a big deal where you live, but here in Doha it's an annual event for a few days at most, and today is the first day it is bucketing down. I may not be so excited about it in a few days time when the sandpit turns into a mudbath, but right not - having splashed and danced in the puddles with the little chefs, I'm feeling refreshed and happy.

It also gives me a good excuse to make my favourite spicy soup...

rain  =  winter  =  soup

I've had a pumpkin sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks waiting patiently for someone to come and fix my oven. I'm giving up on that for now, and taking to the stove-top to turn this...

into this...

it's creamy and delicious with a refreshing hint of south east asia from the ginger and lemongrass, an earthiness from the ground coriander, a robust richness from the coconut milk, and a smidge of heat from the chilli. This is my idea of heaven in a bowl.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup
  • 1 small fresh red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 stem of lemongrass, center white part only, finely chopped
  • 3cm of ginger, finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 800 grams of chopped pumpkin flesh (about 1.5kgs pumpkin with skin and seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon chopped palm sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander


  1. Put the chilli, lemon grass, ground coriander, ginger, garlic and a little stock into a blender and blitz into a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook over medium eat for 5 minutesAdd the spice paste and stirfry for another minute.
  3. Add the pumpkin and stock and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until pumpkin is tender.
  4. Cool slightly, pop batches into a food processer or blender and blitz until smooth (I often freeze this mixture in 2 cup batches, ready to defrost, reheat and add other ingredients).
  5. Rinse out the pan, put the pumpkin puree back in, add the coconut milk, palm sugar and chopped coriander and reheat. Serve garnished with coriander (if the pumpkin is really sweet, leave out the sugar and squeeze in some lime to liven it up).
By the way the photos are before the coconut milk was added. I didn't have any in the pantry, so will reheat the soup later with the coconut milk and coriander.


  1. Gill, I hate pumpkin, but your dish looks delicious and vibrant. Makes you want to taste it.

  2. Thanks Anzz, glad you like the photos, if you don't fancy pumpkin, how about sweet potato, swedes or celeriac roots? they'd deliver similar flavours.