No one will know you cheated just a bit with this Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup. Honestly, no one will care! It's so easy and so... delicious!
I was stopped dead in my tracks a few weeks ago when I saw a big display of canned pumpkin on sale for a ridiculously good price. I'm not sure why I never thought of it before, but right then and there I got the inspiration for this Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup. A crazy idea to try a roasted pumpkin soup with canned pumpkin!
I love the way roasting at high temperatures causes practically any vegetable to caramelize and intensify in flavor. I often employ this little trick when I make soup to create extra layers of deliciousness. When I saw the display of canned pumpkin, I began wondering if the same technique could be used with pumpkin puree. I could hardly wait to get home and give it a try. (I know, I get excited about strange things.)
My goal for the soup was "easy and dinner party-worthy delicious". That's the kind of recipe an overwhelming majority of you requested in our reader survey two years ago. I totally get that. It seems that everyone (including me) stays so busy these days, there's just not much time left to spend in the kitchen. A quick and easy recipe that's also incredibly delicious is a winner in my book.
Another goal was to keep the soup healthy with lots of good nutritious ingredients. Did you know that pumpkin puree is a little nutritional powerhouse? It's rich in antioxidants and iron, low in calories and a good source of fiber and vitamin A. One can of pumpkin puree has eleven grams of fiber and four grams of protein, actually more than fresh pumpkin. At the same time, a whole can contains only 175 calories and two grams of fat. It's also packed with vitamins and provides over 50 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which may reduce the risk for some types of cancer.
Scott sometimes calls me "the little mad scientist in the kitchen", and that's what I felt like as I got to work on this Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup. I combined onions, garlic, apple and potato with a splash of olive oil, a small knob of butter, a scoop of red curry paste, brown sugar, curry powder, ground coriander and a bit of cumin in a Dutch oven. This was all stirred together and popped in the oven to create the first layer of Thai-inspired flavor. After 10 minutes, I added the pumpkin puree, gave it a good stir and it went back in the oven.
When I pulled the pot out 15 minutes later, I was pleased, as the pumpkin puree mixture had noticeably deepened in color, a great sign of caramelization. The rest was easy; a quick simmer on the stovetop with coconut milk and chicken broth, followed by a whirl in the blender.
The result? After a few tweaks and tests, "delicious!" has been the consensus of all the taste-testers. The soup is silky smooth and loaded with vibrant flavor. The coconut milk adds a velvety smoothness and the red curry paste a bit of heat. The heat can be adjusted according to one's palate.
This Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup would make a fabulous first course for a dinner party, but it's also easy enough to whip up for a weeknight dinner. Serve it with a simple salad and some warm crusty bread. You might want to make a double batch, because leftovers are wonderful for quick mid-day meals on the run and perfect for school or work lunches.
You can serve the soup just as it is or dress it up a bit. I like to add a drizzle of Greek yogurt and a few roasted, salted cashews with a few grinds of black pepper. A tiny sprig of cilantro or parsley is the crowning glory.
So next time you see a display of canned pumpkin puree at the market, be sure to throw a few cans in your cart. Pick up some red curry paste and coconut milk too. You probably have everything else you need in your pantry and spice cabinet. In less than 45 minutes you can have the fabulous aroma of Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup wafting through your kitchen. You'll be all set for hungry family and friends!
Café Tips for making this Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup
- Make sure you're purchasing pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. They're sold in the same area, in the same size can and look deceptively similar. Pumpkin puree is just what it says: pumpkin that's been pureed. Pumpkin pie filling is pumpkin puree with added sugar and spices.
- This soup is made, for the most part, in the oven and finished off on the stove top. Be sure to use a pot that is oven safe and can be also be used over a burner or flame. A cast iron ceramic or a stainless steel Dutch oven works well.
- Adjust the heat in the recipe with the amount of red curry paste you use. If you don't like any heat, either omit it or just use 1 teaspoon. We like a moderate amount of heat and 2 teaspoons is perfect for us. If you like things nice and spicy, use 3-4 teaspoons.
- This soup will keep well refrigerated for up to a week. It can be warmed in a saucepan on the stovetop or for a minute or two in the microwave.
P.S.This recipe does call for a whole can of pumpkin puree but some just use a partial can. Wondering what to do with if you don't use up a whole can of pumpkin puree? No worries! I actually wrote a post a while back called What to do with Leftover Pumpkin Puree. Check it out, there's a wonderful fall salad dressing, muffins, crackers, cookies, a cake and even another soup!
What I used to make and present this Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup
No one will know you cheated just a bit with this Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup and honestly, no one will care! It's easy and so delicious!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- 1 medium apple peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 1 large potato peeled and roughly chopped
- 1-4 teaspoons red curry paste *
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon mild yellow curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 15- ounce can pumpkin puree
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 14 ½- ounce can light coconut milk
- salted, roasted cashews for garnish, if desired
- Greek yogurt thinned with a bit of milk for garnish, if desired
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Combine olive oil, butter, onion, apple, potato, garlic, curry paste, brown sugar, curry powder, ground coriander, cumin, ginger in a Dutch oven or oven-safe pot. Stir well to combine. Place in preheated oven and roast, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and add pumpkin puree. Stir well to combine. Roast (again, uncovered) for another 15-20 minutes until puree is deepening in color. Stir the mixture half way through.
Remove from oven and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Puree mixture with an immersion blender or a regular blender.
Serve with a small dollop of cream or Greek yogurt, some chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of roughly chopped cashews.
* Go with how spicy your palate is. 2 teaspoons is medium spicy. You can always add more but can't take it back.