January 6th, 2010


Firecracker Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

It’s the beginning of  both a new year and decade. It’s certainly time to have deep clean, throw away the hoards of scrap paper with nonsensical squiggles, magazines from the beginning of the last decade, numerous bottles of rancid oils, tasteless spices and nut’s that should have seen the dustbin about three years ago. Yesterday was the day the kitchen and study “got it”, oh my word…I cannot believe that two individuals, with no dependents, can collect so many things which have turned into rubbish within three years.

Well even the fruit and vegetable basket “got it”, if was not fit for the pot, it was chopped up and fed to the worms… well they deserve a festive new year too! The pumpkin that I had kept since November was lovely and ripe and finally made it into the saucepan along with the remaining ginger and garlic that were hiding in the freezer for a rainy and cold day.

With the temperature outside dipping below freezing and the persistent rain and snow it’s the perfect time to make a hot and spicy soup with my ripe pumpkin.

I like cooking pumpkins and butternut squash with the skin and all, this  not only saves  time but also provides extra fibre, goodness and taste. Enough reason not to peel them then! I kept the seeds and roasted them in the oven along with dried crushed chillies and Maldon sea salt. This makes a tasty snack on its own and a nifty and smart garnish for my delicious soup.


I could have cooked my classic and favourite pumpkin and Parmesan soup but I needed something spicy  as I was in a fiery mood. To cool this firecracker of a soup, Mr.P made this amazing rocket, coconut and coriander crush; it’s perfect and makes this interesting soup even more exciting and seriously memorable. It was great team work and I think a brilliant recipe to see in the new year, celebrating all the brilliant collaborations of recipes and dishes that are to come for 2010. Salute!

Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

  • 700g fresh pumpkin, roughly diced( with the skin on if it's thin and soft), remove the seeds
  • 100ml peanut oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium chilli, deseeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 20g fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 150g banana shallot, sliced
  • 100g celery, wash and sliced
  • 10g coriander roots and stalks, washed
  • 10g palm sugar
  • 25ml fish sauce, squid brand
  • 100g yellow split peas soaked over night
  • 1.5L water
  • 400ml coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 200 °C.

Prepare the pumpkin, if the skin is thin and fairly soft I normally keep the skin on as it adds extra nutrition and fibre to the soup. Remove  and keep the seeds.

Roughly dice the pumpkin, mix it with 2tbs of the peanut oil and seasoning, spread the diced pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast the pumpkin for 30 minutes until golden brown in the preheated oven.

While the pumpkin is roasting make the chilli and shallot paste for the soup.

Place the chilli, chopped lemongrass, shallot, ginger, garlic, celery, coriander roots, palm sugar and fish sauce in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat a large saucepan with the remaining peanut oil and gently fry the chilli and shallot paste for about 5 minutes, add the drained soaked yellow split peas and saute for a further 2 minutes. Add the water and gently bring the soup to a gentle simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the roasted diced pumpkin, bring the soup back to the simmer, cover the pan with a lid and gently simmer the soup for a further 40 minutes, stir the soup occasionally.

Add the coconut milk, bring the soup back to the boil and simmer for further 5 minutes.

Blend the soup until smooth, adjust the seasoning if needed and let the soup down with a little water if it's too thick for your liking.

Bring the soup back to the boil before serving.

Serve the soup in warm bowls garnish the soup with the rocket, coconut and coriander crush, toasted firecracker pumpkin seeds and slithers of roasted pumpkin.

Rocket, Coconut and Coriander Crush

  • 50g rocket salad, washed
  • 20g coriander, washed
  • 10g toasted dessicated coconut
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 5g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 80ml peanut oil

Wash the rocket salad and coriander leaves, drain them well.

Place the rocket salad, coriander, garlic, ginger and seasoning in a blender and blend, leaving the mixture slightly coarse.

Add the oil  and pulse blend to emulsify the mixture.

Stir in the toasted dessicated coconut, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a clean container and keep refrigerated until needed. This sauce will last for one week in the fridge.

Toasted Firecracker Pumpkin Seeds

  • Seeds from the pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 1tsp peanut oil
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 150 °C.

Wash the pumpkin seeds and remove the pumpkin hairs, drain well. Toss the seeds, oil, crushed chillies and salt.

Spread the seeds on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and toast the seeds in the preheated oven for approximately 20 - 30 minutes. I normally set the oven for 10 minute periods and stir after each setting, this also allows me to judge for how much longer I should toast the seeds.

Let the seeds cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. They make a lovely snack and will keep crisp for up to one week in an airtight container.

Serves 8

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16 Comments to “Firecracker Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut Soup”

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  1. Barry says:

    Dear Madalene

    Many thanks, your soup was amazing and went down a treat with our dinner party guests!

    We are looking forward to trying many more of your wonderful recipes…

    Best wishes


  2. Barry says:

    Hi Madelaine,

    I have only just discovered your wonderful website and I’m looking forward to trying this recipe for a dinner party this weekend…

    Could you please tell me if the 100g of split peas refers to thier dry weight pre-soak, or their weight after soaking over night?

    The soaking instructions on the packet I have suggest that the weight will double once soaked, so I dont want to spoil the soup by using twice the amount if what I need is 100g of soaked peas.

    Many thanks and thank you for such a brilliant and informative site!

  3. Madalene says:

    Dear Barry,

    The weight refers to the dried weight.
    Happy Cooking,


  4. Gill says:

    This looks amazing!

  5. [...] Firecracker Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut Soup Recipe by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel; Chef, Photographer a…. [...]

  6. Frenchie says:

    I love pumpkin soup, but the asian flavors you use in this one sound even more exciting. I cannot wait to try this out, I have a feeling I will not be waiting long at all. Do you think that I could use pumpkin puree instead of whole pumpkin?

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