To make this soup, I selected and combined a few traditional holiday components which I then infused with some bold thai flavors. Lemongrass and pumpkin pair surprisingly well together here while the coconut milk balances out all of the flavors and gives the soup a soft and silky texture. I haven’t had roasted pumpkin seeds since I was a kid, so making these brought back some of those memories I had of smelling and tasting their unique crispy and salty texture for the first time. I drizzled the seeds with a bit of melted Earth Balance and a splash of soy sauce before roasting them in a cast iron pan, but you can also dry roast them and then toss with some seasoning when they come out of the oven.
3 TB Earth Balance
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp galangal root, chopped
2 TB lemongrass hearts, chopped
1 TB sriracha or 1 tsp red curry
2 TB dark brown sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 TB vegan fish sauce
First, roast your pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 375. Using a large serrated knife, slice off the top of the pumpkin and then slice it in half. Remove the stringy insides and seeds. If you’d like to roast the seeds, rinse them off and place on some kitchen towels to dry.
Place each of the pumpkin halves, flesh side down, in a large glass pyrex dish. Add a bit of water to the bottom of the dish and place into the oven to bake for about an hour. The pumpkin is done when it pierces very easily with a fork. Once it is cooled, scoop out the insides and place to the side.
If you’d like to roast the pumpkin seeds to use as a garnish, reduce your oven heat to 300. Toss the seeds in a tablespoon of Earth Balance and a splash of soy sauce and place into the oven to roast until crispy, about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
To make the soup, melt the Earth Balance in a marge pot over medium heat. Add in the onions and saute until softened, about 7 minutes. Add in the garlic, galangal root and lemongrass hearts and saute for about a minute. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add in the sriracha or curry, brown sugar, vinegar, vegan fish and soy sauces. Saute and stir until thickened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in the mirin and stir a bit more.
Reduce the heat back to medium. Add the pumpkin and stock to the pan. Stir until well combined and simmer until it comes to a small boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Blend well with an immersion blender or in a blender in small batches once cooled.
To serve, garnish with the roasted pumpkin seeds, caramelized shallots, chopped basil and/or red pepper flakes.