Pumpkin soup with an Asian flavour
This is a great idea from New Zealand gardener-cook Mary Browne.
2 tbsp peanut oil 1 large onion, roughly chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 slice fresh ginger, chopped 800g pumpkin (remove skin, seeds,
chop into chunks) 1 litre chicken stock 1 tbsp mild chilli sauce 1 tbsp fish sauce 3 leaves rau ram (Vietnamese mint)
or coriander stalks & roots black pepper salt to taste 1 tbsp peanut oil ¼-½ cup sliced garlic chives plain yoghurt (optional)
How to make
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until soft. Add the pumpkin. Pour in the stock and add the chilli sauce, fish sauce, rau ram or coriander, and seasoning. Cover and simmer gently for 30-45 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Discard the rau ram leaves if you have used them. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth, then warm up again in the saucepan. Heat the second measure of peanut oil in a small saucepan and sauté the garlic chives briefly, until just softened but still bright green. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with garlic chives. Serve with the yoghurt on offer in a small separate bowl.