Monday, May 15, 2017

Thai pumpkin soup with Abalone Sauce

Are you looking for something to warm you up in this windy chilly Melbourne weather?

You are not alone the weather had turned and we seemed to have missed Autumn completely and gone straight into Winter! Which means I'm so very cold and I want to dive into bowls of heartwarming soups.

A recipe I saw in a Coles magazine for a  Thai pumpkin soup with prawns which looked perfect for a cold rainy day like so many we have been having lately.

As fate would have it I was gifted with a bottle of Abalone sauce from a company called Kansom. Which was exciting and the unknown, to be honest, I haven't even tried abalone. I was warned to use it sparingly and that it was salty. So I thought adding it to this soup would be the perfect substitution for the fish sauce in the recipe which it was! I actually didn't find it that strong and I feel like could have been a bit more generous with it.

The soup was delicious but I do feel the quantity of brown sugar the recipe calls for is slightly excessive. By the time you get to end of your bowl of soup the sweetness becomes overpowering and just too sweet. I would be happily half the quantity of sugar which for me is saying a lot!

I also had some leftover frozen salt and pepper cuttlefish in my fridge and being the queen of repurposing, I tossed these in turmeric and coriander and fried these and using them as my soup toppers instead of the prawn and it worked well. Apart from the sweet factor the soup was an explosion of flavours and was warming and delicious.

Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think.

This recipe is from the Coles Magazine.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
500g peeled butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm pieces
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
30g fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, pounded, or 3 teaspoons lemongrass paste
400ml can coconut milk
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar (way too much sugar in my opinion)
2 teaspoons fish sauce  (Where I used Kansome Abalone Sauce)
500g banana prawns, peeled, deveined (salt and pepper cuttlefish worked just s
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 long red chilli (about 10g), sliced into thin rings
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
1/4 cup (35g) unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped/


Step 1
In a large heavy pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add pumpkin, shallot, ginger, garlic and lemongrass stalk or paste. Cook for 2-3 mins or until fragrant. Add coconut milk and 2 cups (500ml) water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 mins or until pumpkin are completely tender.

Step 2
Remove lemongrass stalk, if using, and discard. Set soup aside to cool slightly. Transfer to a blender with lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, sugar and fish sauce and puree until very smooth and creamy. Season with salt.

Step 3
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss prawns with ground coriander and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over high heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add prawns and cook, turning as needed, for 3 mins or until pink and just cooked through.

Step 4
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with prawns, chilli slices, coriander leaves and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

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