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Sometimes for funsies I peruse the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online. Words are my jam. Jam’s my jam too. But words – curious collections of wee morphemes – endlessly amuse me. I especially like to cozy up with etymology or hang out with derivatives, and although I’m sure this recipe preamble now feels like one mongo non sequitur, I promise, this dictionary-scanning habit of mine brings me to today’s recipe for what I like to call a “souped-up soup.”
The OED is ever so reliable in the way it defines words. Take its definition for soup, for example: “a liquid food prepared by boiling, usually consisting of an extract of meat with other ingredients and seasoning.” Comprehensive, solid, and unambiguous – all qualities we want in a dictionary definition.
But the OED starts to get really fun with the evolution of word usage, especially in the derivatives section where you’ll find the expression “souped-up,” which is invariably used to describe the kinds of cars that would be featured on Pimp My Ride, the series all about ginormous rear tires, garish colours and . . . bouncing? Huh. Curiouser and curiouser.
I say let’s put that otherwise great little expression, “souped-up,” to more appropriate use in the description of this Thai Pumpkin Soup because the flavah flave profile in this soup is definitely souped-up and without a single nightshade. Comforting yum.
The fresh ginger provides a predictably lovely zip, the fish sauce offers a pleasing, earthy umami, and the puréed pumpkin gives a comforting texture. Finally, the fresh lime juice and teeny bit of honey round out the whole shebang of ingredients in the most agreeable way.
So sip (or slurp) away on this super souped-up soup!
Thai Pumpkin Soup (AIP, Paleo, SCD)
Author: Martine Partridge
Recipe type: Soup / Side
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp. Red Boat fish sauce
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 5 c stock
- 1¾ c pumpkin purée (or 3 c fresh pumpkin, peeled and chopped; I've also used kabocha, which is wonderful too)
- 1 c coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼-1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish or to be stirred in
- Caramelized onion also makes a wonderful garnish for this soup.
- Heat oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat.
- Add and sauté the onion until soft (about 5-7 minutes).
- Stir in the ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant (about one minute more).
- Add the stock, pumpkin purée, coconut milk, fish sauce, salt. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. If you are using freshly peeled and chopped pumpkin, then allow all ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes covered or until the pumpkin is very tender.
- Transfer all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender and purée.
- Return the puréed ingredients to the sauce pot. Add lime juice, honey, and cilantro. Serve with suggested garnishes.