Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thai Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

I have come to the realization that if you're vegan and don't like Asian foods such as Chinese and Thai food, you're pretty much screwed.

Thankfully, I love them, and here is a great recipe to try if you do too!

I found this recipe in a book that I received from Danika's mom (who by the way is one of the most genuinely sweetest people on this planet, who has an awesome store and is opening up another one soon!).

Anyway, I put a little twist on it by adding shitake mushrooms, because...well...I think they're fantastic, and they go great with anything Thai, so if you don't like them just leave them out and shut up already!

Also, I didn't much feel like carving up a pumpkin so instead I used yams, which did the trick just fine, but if you feel like immersing yourself armpit deep in pumpkin guts feel free, the choice is yours...

Speaking of freedom of choice I also added more dried chili flakes...mainly because I like to torture myself, but also because I like things spicy.

Thai Pumpkin and Coconut Soup
(Serves Four)

6 oz rice noodles
1 1/2 lb pumpkin (or three large yams or sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
4 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
14 oz canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut cream
15 oz veggie stock
2 Tbsp light wheat-free tamari (or for those not gluten free soy sauce)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 cup bean sprouts
2 good sized carrots, cut thinly in strips
1 package shitake mushrooms
large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the rice noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Put the pumpkin chunks into a roasting dish or on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 40 minutes or until tender.

While the pumpkin is roasting, heat about one Tbsp olive oil in a stock pot. Add the chili flakes and shitake mushrooms and saute them over moderate heat for about 2 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Add the coconut milk, coconut cream, veggie stock, and simmer, gently, stirring until the cream has dissolved. Stir in the tamari and sugar. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix in the bean sprouts and carrots and simmer for an additional minute. Add the rice noodles and warm through.

Divide the chunks of pumpkin among four warm serving bowls and pour the soup over them. Liberally scatter the cilantro over the top, and serve!