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Silky Coconut-Pumpkin Soup

For something very different from an excellent cookbook for Southeast Asian cuisine, Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet I highly recommend this recipe - in addition to the squash you'll need cilantro, coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, and shallots:

Silky Coconut-Pumpkin Soup, Thailand, Laos:

In a heavy skillet or on a charcoal or gas grill, dry-roast or grill 3 or 4 shallots, turning occasionally until softened and blackened. Peel, cut lenghtwise in half and set aside.

Peel the pumkin and clean off any seeds. cut into small 1/2 inch cubes. you should have about 5 cups of cubed pumpkin. place 2 cups canned or fresh coconut milk, 2 cups mild pork or chicken broth, pumpkin, shallots, and 1 cup loosely packed cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Add 1/2 tsp salt and simmer over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in 2 tbsp fish sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes. taste or salt and add a little more fish sauce if you wish.

The soup can be served immediately, but has even more flavor if left to stand for up to an hour. reheat just before serving. generously grind black pepper over and finish with a sprinkle of fresh scallion greens to serve. freezes well.

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