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Thai Pumpkin Soup with Quinoa & Chia

dinner freezer meal gluten free pumpkin soup quick meal soup vegetarian

The weather has well and truly turned down a notch or two in recent weeks. I have to say, apart from the initial shock when I put my feet on the ground first thing in the morning, I'm loving it. I'm loving the layers of clothing, I'm loving watching Finn in his first real Winter coat, trying to stay balanced while running around top heaving, merino leggings and gumboots in the wet grass. I think I've said it before, I'm a fan of Winter! 
Cooler days brings cravings of warm, comforting and nourishing meals, slow cooked casseroles and rich hearty soups. I try and cook soups in big batches, freezing individual portions for quick lunches during the week. This soup is simple to throw together and the flavours are incredible. I often add a variety of root vegetables, carrots give the soup a wonderful rich colour and kumara a wonderful sweetness. The flavours are inspired by a traditional thai green curry, and you could most certainly make things easier by adding a heaped tablespoon of a good quality pre-made paste.
The chia and puffed quinoa, swirled through once served add a wonderful texture to the smooth soup - and an excellent way to include soup-er (had to!) foods to your meal!  


Ingredients

1kg pumpkin, peeled and diced to 2cm squares 
good glug virgin olive oil 
sea salt & pepper 
1 large onion, roughly chopped 
3 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled & grated 
1 small green chilli, deseeded 
1 stem fresh/frozen lemongrass, roughly chopped, or 1/2 tsp Fresh As lemongrass powder 
1 tsp ground cummin
1-2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, or 1/2 tsp Fresh As kaffir lime leaf powder (optional) 
400ml water 
200ml coconut cream 
400ml chicken or vegetable stock to be suitable for vegetarians 

To serve: 

handful fresh coriander 
1 tbsp chia seeds, per bowl
2 tbsp puffed quinoa, per bowl 


Method

Preheat oven to 180°.
In a roasting dish, toss prepared pumpkin in olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Place into hot oven for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked with wonderful caramelised colour. Toss once, at around 15 minutes.  
In a large pot, over a medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil along with onion, garlic and ginger. Gently cook until the onion is soft and well cooked, a little colour is fine, this just adds to the flavour of the soup. They'll need around 10 minutes. 
Add the green chilli, lemongrass, cumin, kaffir lime leaves and cook for a further five minutes before adding water, coconut cream and stock. Bring to a boil for several minutes before adding pumpkin and reducing heat to low and simmering. Simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on. 
Remove the kaffir lime leaves. Using a stick blender, or adding the soup to a blender, blend until silky and smooth. 
Serve while piping hot with a sprinkling of coriander  chia seeds and puffed quinoa. 

Serves approx. 6 large bowls - can be frozen.  


Enjoy. x Zoe


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