The day after Halloween, our family of seven would scrape out the fibrous strands of our pumpkins to reveal the bright orange flesh, cutting it into pieces and roasting in the oven — along with the seeds — to make the most delicious pumpkin soup. These days, pumpkin soup goes well beyond the traditional dollop of cream and pinch of nutmeg and can act as a host for so many diverse flavors, both savory and sweet. While it often takes a starring role on the table in the form of pies and bread, pumpkin also marries well with spicy ingredients without losing its distinct taste. For even more proof of its versatility, look no further than “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” — the movie’s humorous wit and innocence have stood the test of time and are adored by pumpkin lovers of all ages.
Pumpkin Coco-Curry Soup
BY CARRIE HIRSCH / Makes: 6 servings
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1½ cups coconut water (not coconut milk)
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups pumpkin, packed firmly
red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
cilantro, finely chopped
salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
In a large heavy pot, heat butter and olive oil. Sauté onion until lightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Stir in vegetable broth, coconut water, green curry paste, salt and black pepper. Add pumpkin and cover, simmering over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and process until smooth using an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor and process in batches. Garnish with bean sprouts, red chili pepper, cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges. The soup is also delicious when served chilled.