My husband does not like any creamy soup which is plain and no coarse texture. Well, in order to interest him, I decided to change the normal pumpkin soup into a Asian fair to fulfill his taste buds. He too does not like the sweetness in the soup so I add fish sauce into it to alter the sweetness.
Overall, I was very pleased with the result as my husband was very happy with the soup. By the way, I am going to serve this soup again on my husband’s Indian New Year in April 13.
3 cups peeled, seeded and cubed Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin)/American pumpkin
6oz cooked small shrimps, if frozen, thawed
1½ stalk lemongrass, removed the rough top section and use the young green parts and white bulb; lightly crushed
1½ tablespoons canola/vegetable/corn oil
6 shallots, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 bird’s eye chili, stem removed, finely minced or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3½ cups “No MSG” chicken broth
1½ cup coconut milk
¾ teaspoon lime juice
1½ tablespoon fish sauce
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided (optional)
2 tablespoons croutons of your choices (I prefer using Chinese wheat crackers)
Heat a large saucepan with canola/vegetable/corn oil over medium heat. Add onions and shallots and sauté until fragrant or light golden. Add chicken broth, Kabocha/pumpkin cubes, bird’s eye chili/hot pepper flakes, lemongrass and fish sauce; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and partially covered, simmer for 12-15 minutes or until Kabocha/pumpkin is tender.
Remove saucepan from heat, discard the lemongrass and add into the food processor blender, puree the soup mixture in batches; transfer into a saucepan.
Heat the saucepan with the pureed soup mixture over medium heat, add in coconut milk and lime juice and stir to combine, heat until hot but not boiled. Adjust the seasonings and add the limey taste as to your desire. Stir in cooked shrimps and half of the chopped cilantro leaves. Serve the soup in a warmed soup bowls and top with some chopped cilantro leaves/croutons/Chinese wheat crackers. Enjoy.