Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup
First you make the paste:
RED CURRY PASTE
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cardomom seeds or pods
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black or multicoloured peppercorns
pinch of sea salt
Gently toast all of the above in a dry fry pan on medium until they go all deliciously fragrant. Warning - stay close or the coriander seeds will start exploding if you leave them too long! Allow to cool slightly and then either bash 'em up in a mortar and pestle or whiz 'em up in a coffee bean grinder until a fine powder.
Rest of recipe:
Approx 10 French eschallots peeled and roughly chopped
8 - 10 cloves garlic, ditto
4-10 red chillies, same (adjust according to heat tolerance)
1 bunch coriander, including roots, also chopped
1 tbs (ish) finely chopped lemongrass
1 thumb sized bit of ginger or galangal, chopped
1- 2 tbs shrimp paste (stinks to high heaven)
If you like it really hot, then I'd recommend adding about 10- 15 small dried chillies which you've soaked in hot water for around 15 minutes then roughly chopped.
Whack everything including the dry spice powder into either a food processor or a bowl with a bamix and blend until paste like. I obviously now using my Amazing Thermomix to do the whole process - recipe can be found at http://thermomixup.blogspot.com/2010/09/re...urry-paste.html
Heat up a bit of olive or peanut oil in a pan or wok to medium hot and fry the paste off for around 5 minutes until it darkens a bit, stirring constantly. If using lots of chilli I recommend opening a lot of windows at this point and suggesting asthmatics temporarily vacate the kitchen!
Once cooked off, I then divide it into individual portions (about 3 tbs each) and freeze.
Cut up a mix of butternut and other pumpkin types into chunks without peel. Or with peel if you're happy to cut that off after roasting.
Roast it on a baking tray lightly sprayed with oil for about 20 minutes.
While it's roasting, cook off about 2 finely chopped onions and a few cloves of garlic. When soft, add some of the curry paste - I use heaps, but I like it hot, so use as much as you like.
Cook off for about 2 more minutes on med - low, so you don't make the onions and garlic go all black and crunchy, which is bad for soup, but great with sausages.
Peel the roasted pumpkin (unless previously done, obviously) and lob the bits into the pan with the other stuff.
Chuck it all around on med-high heat to coat.
Dump in a bunch of stock.
Turn heat way, way, way down and simmer lightly for about 15 minutes, assuming the pumpkin is already soft.
Turn off heat and let it cool a bit, then bamix the bejebus out of it until smooth and deelish looking.
Put heat back on low, add 1 - 2 tins of coconut milk, depending on how much soup you have. Add a large handful of ripped coriander leaves.
Put in bowls and eat. Preferably with some toasted Turkish bread that has been drizzled in olive oil and then rubbed with a garlic clove after toasting.
Die of happiness.