All of these beauties ask for a different making: One is a soup, one a pie and one a salad! Middle one first:

A pumpkin carving of another kind: I am an ASIAN SOUP

Dear Sophie!

I think of you all the time and these days I plan in my head the things we want to do together when I see you in a few weeks in NY and you will show me your new apartment. Can't wait to see it!

Right now I am sitting next to a hot bowl of delicious hokkaido soup and it smells divine. I know I will not warm your heart to this one, since this has always been the one thing you would not eat and I also remember that I never remembered it! I made it, served you and you said: MAMI ! Well, maybe one day you will change your mind maybe this recipe will be the one persuading you to this wonderful creamy heartwarming soup on a rainy day like today.

love Mami

You need

one Hokkaido pumpkin
2 elephant garlic ( makes 6 regular cloves)
2 liters vegetable stock
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 stalks lemongrass
2 tbsp kuzu, disolved in water*
600ml coconut milk
juice from ½ a lime
Chili, salt and palm sugar** or agave sirup

Wash and deseed then cut the pumpkin in small cubes, the garlic as well and roast first the garlic then add the pumpkin in some neutral oil. Stir and let the pumpkin roast for a while so the flavor intensifies. Add the stock, if you have no stock you can use regular water maybe some powdered vegetable soup, you just have to add more salt. The lemongrass – to be removed after the cooking before the blending – cut in 3, the ginger and the liquidized kuzu can be added and the soup base can then cook but not boil for 20 min or until the skins of the pumpkin are soft enough to be blended in a mixer. I use my hand-held blender, then I presse the soup through a sieve, it is best when real smooth!

The cooking is done now.

Now you add the coconut milk the lime, salt and grated palm sugar and do not be surprised by the amount of salt and  palm sugar it is quite surprising. I think this is because of the pumpkin  being a rather blend tasting vegetable and the coconut milk absorbing the salt.

 Try to get to a good balance and add little by little salt, palm sugar and chili! This recipe makes more than 3 liters, so it is a lot and can be prepared well in advance, as with any of the creamy soups heat it carefully and do not over boil it. This keeps the soup in a silky consistence with the help of the kuzu, a starch I so recommend! Much better then any other, so healthy on top. You might get the hang of it too and never run out of it in your kitchen.

You can chill the soup and eat it during the next week. I suppose it freezes as well but have not tried it yet. Let me know if it works. 

Garnish with fresh cilantro, yellow-flower pepper weed or more chili.

* Kuzu or Kudzu:

Organic Kuzu Root Starch is a versatile thickener that dissolves quickly in any cold liquid and has no perceptible taste. It is very low in calories, contains no fat and is an easily digestible source of complex carbohydrates—only 8 grams per serving. Kuzu binds more strongly than arrowroot. Kuzu is handcrafted, natural, and uniquely nourishing. While arrowroot is made by a simple, natural process, kuzu is far superior in jelling strength, taste, texture, and healing qualities. The soup will get a nice shine from kuzu.

** Palm Sugar comes hard pressed in various forms usually as a fat disc, and you need to grate it with all your might to get to some result, this has another benefit: it is a good exercise for your upper body. Palm sugar has a distinct taste, maybe a bit like malt but definitely unique.