Halloween has to be one of my favourite ‘holidays’. I wish we did more to enjoy it here in the UK, although I do think that if I have children I will definitely be making the most out of it! When I was little pumpkins seemed to be quite rare here. Instead my Mam painstakingly carved out the insides of a rock solid swede – or turnip as we always called them. Add a black bin liner and some green eye shadow and me and my sister made mighty fine witches!
When I saw a big fat pumpkin in Aldi last weekend I thought I would indulge my inner child and buy one to carve and I have to admit I was already thinking of how I would use the flesh in a tasty recipe!
This is based very loosely on my old Thai Green Sweet Potato and Leek Soup, reimagined with a pumpkin twist:
Thai Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup (vegan, serves 4)
- 1 large onion or 3 small leeks
- thumb size piece of fresh ginger – optional, I use because I like a bit of extra warmth
- 2 tbsp of Thai Red Curry Paste (I used Thai Taste brand which is vegan)
- 200mls of coconut milk (I used full fat)
- 4 cups of coarsely chopped pumpkin flesh
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- hot vegetable stock (I used hot water from the kettle and a tsp of Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder)
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce or tamari (if needed and according to taste)
- Pumpkin seeds and extra coconut milk to serve (optional)
1. Begin by scooping out the insides of your pumpkin, roughly chopping the flesh and setting aside. Keep the seeds and make this – they taste amazing! If you aren’t making a Halloween lantern out of it then you can just slice it up and cut the flesh off the skin.
2. Finely chop your onions or leeks, grate the ginger if using and chop the sweet potatoes – skin an all, into cubes.
3. Warm some oil (coconut oil would be good) over a medium heat in a large pan adding the ginger and curry paste first. Once that has become fragrant, add the onions or leeks and fry gently until they soften.
4. Add your pumpkin flesh and sweet potato and fry for a few minutes before adding the coconut milk.
5. Cover the vegetables with hot vegetable stock and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until the sweet potato is very soft.
6. Give it 5 minutes to cool and then puree using a regular or immersion blender.
7. Taste for seasoning and add the soy sauce / tarmari if desired.
8. Serve topped with pumpkin seeds and an optional swirl of coconut milk.
This soup is a fantastic way to use up pumpkin. The sweet potato adds rich sweetness as sometimes I have found fresh pumpkin a little watery. If you wanted you could easily switch up the pumpkin for another type of squash or use all sweet potatoes.
The warmth from the curry paste is nicely mellowed by the coconut milk to create a creamy filling soup.
This is definitely one of my all time favourite soup recipes as it is so easy to make, is full of flavour and has the added benefit of being extremely healthy – the pumpkin and sweet potato are rich in antioxidants, the ginger and spices give it an immune system supporting boost and the coconut milk adds healthy fats.
A pretty perfect recipe for the grown ups this Halloween, even if it does allow you to indulge your inner child…
What do you make with your Halloween pumpkin?