Chef asked me to swing by the Munson Farm Stand for a Cinderella pumpkin he could roast and preserve for the winter. I LOVE pumpkin, so I was really happy he wanted to preserve some this year. I usually buy a few pie pumpkins to make my pumpkin peanut curry soup, and they’re much smaller- maybe smaller than a soccer ball. The selection of Cinderella pumpkins at Munson’s Farm Stand was impressive, and this one was larger than two of my heads put together.
Sean almost effortlessly sliced it in half. I would have needed a saw, I think.
Scooped out the seeds…
Drizzled olive oil on top and then some salt and pepper…
And then they BARELY fit into our miniature oven. We live in 600 sq ft, and our kitchen appliances reflect that. But, we shoved it in there and made it work.
It roasted at 450 for more than an hour and didn’t quite come out as brown as we had hoped, but that’s sometimes what happens with miniature appliances- the end product isn’t as perfect as it could be. It still tasted great, so that’s really all that matters.
We let it cool and then scooped out A LOT of pumpkin.
Sean then pureed it in the Vitamix, poured it into jars, and processed it to save it for a wintery day. It’s truly wonderful to be married to a chef who likes to cook at home.
Every autumn I have a craving for my pumpkin peanut curry soup. I make it once or twice and then wait until pumpkins are in season the following year before making it again. Each time it comes out slightly differently depending on how much of this or that goes in it. Here’s what I did this time-
I roasted a locally grown pumpkin the size of a soccer ball at 375 for 30 minutes or so… I must admit, I totally lost track of time. I have NO idea how long that pumpkin was in there. I’d say 30-40 minutes. I do know, however, that I cut it in half, seeded it (and saved the seeds to make Mexican Mole Roasted Pumpkin Seeds), covered the flesh in butter, and placed it cut side down into a pyrex baking dish with a cup or so of brandy. I am sure of that part.
While the oven was preheating for the pumpkin, I toasted a cup or so of unsalted peanuts. Watch them! It’s really easy to over-toast (burn) nuts. Keep an eye on them and get them out of the oven when they’re starting to brown and smell like roasted peanuts.
But, before I even put the peanuts in the pre-heating oven, I had a thinly sliced sweet yellow onion sautéing on medium-low in some of the coconut fat skimmed from the top of an undisturbed can of coconut milk. I let this start to caramelize while roasting the pumpkin. In the last 15 minutes or so I added a peeled, sliced apple.
So, when the peanuts were done, I put them in the Vita-Mix and made a little peanut butter. Let’s all cheer for the power of that Vita-Mix. What a rockstar appliance. The next step is to blend all of the soft pumpkin flesh, onion, and apple with a can of coconut milk and a cup or so of water into the peanut butter. Start on low, slowly turn it up to 10, then high, and then you’re ready to pour it into a pot and get it on the stove.
This is where the fun seasoning starts. I added a few tablespoons of soy sauce, Kecap Manis (called sweet soy sauce- it is palm sugar syrup, like molasses, but from palm), Vietnamese Sweet Lemongrass Curry (available at Savory Spice Shop), and some cayenne. I let the soup simmer on medium for a while and added some thinly sliced kale that cooked down to be nice and tender after 20 minutes.
Just blogging about this now makes me want to eat another bowl. The creamy peanut-coconut combination is a nice compliment to pumpkin. It brings me back to a small kitchen in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where I had my first pumpkin peanut curry soup. Enjoy!
- one pie pumpkin
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- peanut oil
- 2 yellow onions
- 2-3 cups water
- 2 TB soy sauce
- 3-4 TB maple syrup
- 1-2 TB Vietnamese Sweet Lemongrass Curry (a Savory Spice Shop blend)
I had some cooked kale ready to go, so I gave it a coarse chop and added it to my bowl. De-li-cious.
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- The cream from the top of 1 small can (5.46 oz) coconut milk, left undisturbed for at least 2 hours
- 2 cups cooked fresh pumpkin
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
- 2 TB soy sauce
- 2 TB Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry Powder
- 2 TB Kecap Manis (found in your local Asian food market)
- 2 cups frozen spinach (fresh would be better if you have it- chopped)
- a pinch or more of Cayenne pepper