Pumpkin might not be the first ingredient you’d associate with this traditional Thai soup, but the vegetable marries brilliantly with Asian spices. Our recipe comes courtesy of Singapore Family Favourites: A selection of delicious homegrown recipes from Singaporean families, available at all NTUC FairPrice outlets and in major bookstores for $24.95.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves 5 to 6
1kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into medium-sized cubes
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 stalk lemongrass, white part cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 Thai lemon
4 slices galangal (blue ginger)
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 heaped tablespoon assam (tamarind), soaked in water and strained, with liquid retained
2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon sugar
Fish sauce for seasoning
1. Put tamarind water and chicken stock into a pot and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal and bring to a boil for five minutes, before lowering the heat and simmering for ten more minutes.
2. Remove lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal from the pot and add the pumpkin chunks and oil. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.
3. Add lemon juice and sugar, and taste to ensure the tannic taste of tamarind has been neutralised by the sugar. Leave to cool then blend with a hand-held blender till smooth.
4. Add fish sauce to taste and serve hot.