Thai Pumpkin Soup


This recipe is part of a Seasonal Chef post on Squash v. Pumpkin.

Holiday cooking: Ideas and recipes for Halloween.

More recipes: great one-post meals.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Makes about 2 quarts


  • 1 ½ cup leeks, sliced thin and rinsed well
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • White Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 13oz can Lite Coconut Milk
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 12 cups pumpkin, 4 lb size, peeled, seeded and cut in 1½ -2” cubes
  • 2 dried Thai chilis (3 if you like it really spicy!)
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange, divided and set aside
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
  • Shaved unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted, for garnish


  1. In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat sauté the leeks and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and white pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent, but not brown.
  2. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, stock, pumpkin and chilis. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon of zest and 2 tablespoons of the juice. (Save the remaining for later.) Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender, but not completely falling apart.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out about two-thirds of the pumpkin cubes and set aside. Add the cilantro to the pot and puree until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper and the remaining orange zest and juice if desired. Add back the pumpkin cubes you removed. Serve warm and garnish with shaved coconut and cilantro.
  4. Cooks note: If desired you can puree all of the pumpkin too. The version I have above will give you a little more texture and looks pretty with the cubes.


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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