Years ago I worked near a café that made the most wonderful lunches. There was no set menu – just vats of whatever the chef felt like making that day. One of the regular offerings was a silky pumpkin soup with ‘Asian flavours’. I invented my own version of it. It must be okay, because every time I serve it to guests, they always ask me for the recipe
• 1 large butternut pumpkin
• 1/2 kumara (orange sweet potato) or extra pumpkin
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 large very ripe tomato
• chicken or vegetable stock (Massel or Vegeta are good commercial brands)
• 1 tablespoon Red Thai curry paste (Mae Ploy brand is best)
• pinch cumin
• 1/2 tin coconut milk
• bunch of coriander
1 Peel the pumpkin and kumara and chop into chunks.
2 Place into a large stock pot with the chopped onion.
3 Add enough stock to cover the vegetables.
4 Bring to the boil. Turn down heat and stir in the Thai red curry paste.
5 Cut a cross in the top of the tomato and add to the stock for a couple of minutes. Remove tomato and peel off skin, chop roughly and return to the pot.
6 Simmer for 40 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
7 Blend soup till thick. (A stick blender is best for this as it can be done while the soup is still in the pot). If your soup looks too ‘watery’, reduce this by simmering until some of the liquid evaporates.
8 Add the coconut milk and cumin and put the pot back on the stove over a low heat for a few minutes.
9 Pour into bowls and garnish generously with coriander.
My latest picture book Daddies are Lovely is out next month from Koala Books/Scholastic, just in time for Father’s Day. With gorgeous pictures of dogs and puppies by Slovenian illustrator Polona Lovsin, it celebrates the special relationship between fathers and their children. Why not let your dad know how much you love him by making him a bowl of pumpkin soup!