- 600g pumpkin, butternut squash, onion squash
- a small handful of kaffir lime leaves
- 2-3 chillies
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 thumb sized pieces of ginger, peeled
- 3 sticks of lemongrass
- a handful of coriander, stalks chopped
- 1 heaped teaspoon of five spice
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 565ml chicken or vege stock
- 200g basmati rice
- 2 x 400ml coconut milk
- sea salt and black pepper
- juice of 1 or 2 limes
Chop the pumpkin into 2 inch sized pieces. To make your fragrant soup base, first chop then whiz or bash the following until you have a pulpy mix: The kaffir lime leaves, chillies, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, coriander stalks, five spice and cumin. Remove any stringy bits that may remain in the pulp. Put this fragrant mixture into a high sided pan with a little oil and your finely sliced onion and cook gently for about 10 minutes to release the flavours.
Add the pumpkin and the stock to the pan. Stir around, scraping off the goodness off the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. At this point, add the rice and give it a really good stir. Some of the pumpkin will begin to mush up a bit, but you’ll also have some chunks. Continue to simmer with the lid on until the rice is cooked, then off comes the lid. Add the coconut milk, stir again, taste and season carefully with salt and pepper. To give it a bit of sharpness add the lime juice, – the amount will depend on you or your limes – but the idea is to give it a bit of a twang.
Serve the soup in warmed bowls or pour it back into the pumpkin shell. If you’re going to do this, put the pumpkin shell in the oven to warm it through first. It’s a great show stopper for dinner parties. Finish sprinkled with the coriander leaves, or some extra sliced fresh chillies, or grate over some fresh coconut if you have some.