I was home today taking care of my sick daughter on this cold and snowy Minnesota morning, and wishing I had thought to put the rice cooker on last night to have a nice bowl of congee waiting for her when she awoke. While she was very happy with the instant miso I put together for her (and doing much better tonight BTW), it did spur me to pull out the crockpot and some recipe notes I had buried under other story ideas on my desk...
|Fate of the three that didn't ripen in time|
|Fire Dragon Pumpkin!|
With far more pumpkin available than we could turn into baked goods in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving, we pureed most of the harvest, bagged it into quart-size Ziplocs, and froze it for future use. Today, I decided, would be the future.
The recipes I had taken notes from were Thai squash-based soups, but I thought they would work just as well with fresh pumpkin. So here's what I made:
Thai-inspired Pumpkin Soup
* Pureed flesh from a 2-3 pound pumpkin -- you do not want the canned pumpkin that has already been spiced & sweetened for use in baking; it needs to be as fresh as you can get (or frozen in my case). Squash will work fine too - I have seen frozen Butternut cubes at the grocery store, for instance, that you could puree in a blender.
* One small yellow onion, chopped
* Two medium carrots, julienned
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
* 2 small cans coconut milk (they're about 165 mL per can; the larger-size can may be too much for this recipe) - your local Asian supermarket will definitely have this in stock
* 1 tablespoon fish sauce - again, see your Asian grocer
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* Pinch of nutmeg
* In a slow-cooker or stock pot, start the pumpkin going with the chicken stock, olive oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
* Saute the garlic and onions, then add to the pumpkin-and-liquid mixture.
* Let this combination simmer until the pumpkin has thoroughly dissolved into the stock.
* Add the carrots, plus the dry spices, and finally the coconut milk.
|The pumpkin is still a bit frozen here - took about 30 minutes to dissolve into the chicken stock|
|After adding the coconut milk, the texture changes from watery to creamy, and the color from yellowish to a nutty golden brown|
When serving, you could add toppings to taste like:
* Thai basil
* Green onion
* Peanuts or cashews
* Toasted coconut
* Lime juice
* Sriracha sauce
Here, I added cilantro, cashews, and a few leaves of basil:
|Creamy, warm, and not spicy at all. More filling than you would think at first look!|
My daughter has recovered, and I have cleared a couple pieces of paper off my desk! Happy Asian Eating!