Thai Pumpkin Soup

People often ask what’s my favourite cuisine. Do I prefer Indian, Greek or Mexican food? Could I live without curry, feta cheese or avocado? Truth is, I could never choose. When in Mexico, I will suddently crave the saltiness of soy sauce or the chewiness of bagel, even though I love flank steak smothered in pico de gallo for dear life.

At home, our refrigerator is so crammed full of bottled sauces from every type of foreign cuisine possible that you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s actual food in there. Not always. If you could make a meal out of wasabi and nuoc mam alone, maybe. Let’s just say I often find myself all spiced up with no food to go. Send some protein please?

Which brings me to Thai food and Thai Pumpkin Soup, one of the many surprising recipes featured in Susan Semenak’s Market Chronicles reviewed here. With a few basic ingredients, this soup proves hearty. And original. And kid friendly, since I distinctly remember a picky 5-year-old actually slurping it straight from the bowl. As long as he eats his veggies, I’ll tackle table manners another day.

First though, let me digress.

A few weeks ago, along with several Montreal food bloggers and journalists, I was invited to the launch of Blue Dragon, a new line of Asian cooking sauces and spices. I don’t accept many such invitations due to family obligations, for one, but also because I don’t see myself endorsing that many manufactured products. I may be slowly morphing into Michael Pollan.


That said, the Blue Dragon brand belongs to Associated British Foods, which also makes one of my faves, Patak’s Indian condiments. (If I don’t have their mild curry paste in my fridge, I lose peace of mind.) The Blue Dragon ingredient list is pretty straightforward; the variety suited to many tastes; and, although I prefer cooking from scratch, as a busy mom on a tight schedule, I do rely on one or two jars of cooking sauces for emergency stir-fries. You may enjoy discovering it too.


Excerpted from:



  • 1. In a large pot, sauté onions in oil until soft. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste, then cook briefly to release flavours.
  • 2. Add in remaining ingredients except lime juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
  • 3. Let cool slightly, then purée in blender until smooth. (You may also want to use a sieve if you prefer a silky soup with no pumpkin bits.)
  • 4. Add in lime juice, garnish with cilantro and pepper flakes, then serve.