Monday, January 31, 2011

Rib-tickling Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Did you hear the one about the pumpkin and the coconut?

A pumpkin and a coconut walk into a kitchen, and the pumpkin says to the cook, “Make us some soup.” So the cook says, “If you want to be a Martha Stewart recipe, I’ll make you really rich, then I’ll dump the stock.”

Ba dum bum!

A pumpkin walks into a kitchen with a coconut and says to the cook, “Make my friend and me some soup.” So the cook says, “If you want to be a Bernie Madoff stock, I’ll make you really rich, then I'll cook the books.”

Ba dum bum!

Whether you're busting a gut with uproarious laughter or bellyaching about how Lentil Breakdown needs a new writer (not to mention a new cook), you can see there are as many ways to put the funny in that joke as there are ways to put the flavor in this soup. Like a good joke, a good soup needs a strong setup, punchline and delivery. Think of the setup as the soup base, the punchline as the spice, and the delivery as your timing. (Note: a soup should never taste funny or it will make you a laughingstock.)

I made this pumpkin coconut soup by roasting the pumpkin in olive oil and sautéing onions, garlic and ginger in a little olive oil and butter. Since I tend to cook on the low-fat side, I only used water and light coconut milk. For a heartier, more flavorful soup, I suggest using vegetable or chicken broth. For a richer flavor yet, you could use regular coconut milk instead of light. If pumpkins aren't in season, try butternut squash. You can also substitute my trifecta of cumin, coriander and cardamom with curry powder or garam masala. And for more of a Thai taste, you could use lemongrass and fish sauce. Which reminds me.

What's the difference between Bill Clinton and a Thai cook? The Thai cook didn’t inhale lemon grass.

Ba dum bum!


2 ½ pounds roasted pumpkin chunks or butternut squash, juice included

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP olive oil + more to roast the pumpkin

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece of ginger, minced

1 ½ tsp cumin*

1 ½ tsp coriander*

1/8 tsp cardamom*

1 ½ tsp salt

4 cups water** (+ more later to thin it out)

1 14 oz can light coconut milk

Shredded unsweetened coconut and cilantro sprigs for garnish

*You can use crushed seeds, but use less than powdered spices. Taste as you go.

**Vegetable or chicken broth can be substituted for water

Cut pumpkin or butternut squash in chunks or wedges, slather it in olive oil and sea salt, and roast it in a pan or two in a 400-degree oven until it is caramelized.

In a Dutch oven, sautée onion till soft, then add garlic and ginger. Add Pumpkin, spices, salt and water. In a few minutes, add the coconut milk. Cook for about 20 - 30 minutes over low heat. Taste as you go. Add water if necessary. When it's almost done, purée in a blender or food processor and put soup back in pot. Adjust seasonings if needed and cook a little longer if adding more spice. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.

Related Posts:

My Martha Stewart “Rustic” Tomato Tart

Bernie Madoff-inspired Cheater’s Lavash Crackers


  1. I'm that bad? And this looks awesome - I have some extra BNS so I may try it with that!

  2. looks yummy and perfect for warming up the belly on these cold maine days i've been having!

  3. As always love reading your posts, i wish I could make up some jokes to go along with my recipes, but alas, I am not that creative. I like the addition of cardamom too-- yummy!

  4. Ha! I got a chuckle out of this. Looks like a great soup, coconut and pumpkin go so well together.

  5. You have me rolling again and I dig the cardamom in this soup. Wish I had a bowl tonight - the weather in Denver is single digits today and below zero tomorrow. Soup's on!

  6. Hilarious!!!

    The soup sounds great too!!!

  7. I am all over anything pumpkin based..and coconut? don't get me started!

    It's 25 below here so soup is just what I am looking for...

  8. Well I am so used to laughing when I come over, you put me in a good mood right off the bat. Love that soup too. Original flavor combo.

  9. I adapted this, but without any of your great rimshots! Delicious! And so apropos to chilly weather and CSA squash.

  10. Becky, your soup looks fantastic! Thanks for taking the plunge!

  11. I should definitely read your posts in the morning to make sure that I meet the day with laughter. I really enjoy your writing.
    Squash soups are so versatile and I make them often in the winter time (I pretend that we are still in Cleveland to justify cooking comfort food).
    BTW, I am slowly getting better acquainted with my camera and Lightroom. Who knows what can happen one of these days:)

  12. I loved your photos in this post! I'm looking forward to trying this recipe :)

  13. 3 Studies PROVE How Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

    This means that you actually burn fat by consuming coconut fats (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!