Our Pumpkin Soup recipe is brought to you by the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Because pumpkins grow beautifully in the tropics, you can find a number of different recipes throughout Polynesia – especially Fiji, where pumpkin curry soup is quite popular. But my favorite recipe is also the easiest recipe you’ll find. If you have some leftover pumpkin (or even a can of pureed pumpkin) you can literally have it cooked and on the table in 10 minutes.. In fact, simple recipes are the norm for most of the islands. But for those who like a little pizzazz, this soup can still work for you. It’s all about options.

So let’s start with the basics. What do you HAVE to have? 4 ingredients form the base: cooked pumpkin, canned coconut milk, salt and pepper. Those ingredients alone makes a lovely, thick, stick to your ribs bowl of soup. But pumpkin soup is versatile too. I like to add in items like minced onions, garlic, green peppers and top it with a dab of sour cream. But you’re only limited by your imagination. At the bottom of this blog you will find a list of other possible additions.

Picture of cooked pumpkin, salt, pepper and coconut milk

Four basic ingredients gets you a great bowl of soup.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Soup

1.  Equal parts cooked pumpkin and canned coconut milk

For two people, that comes out to one cup pumpkin, one cup coconut milk. For four people, it equals 2 cups pumpkin (or a can of prepared pumpkin) to one can of coconut milk.

     2. Salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Optional additions as desired.

Instructions for Pumpkin Soup

If you are starting with raw pumpkin, cut pumpkin meat into 2 inch cubes (no rind, no seeds), place in a steamer or saucepan with enough water plus a dash of salt and cook it for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool.

Mash the pumpkin well and measure out 1 to 2 cups (depending on how many servings you want)

Add the coconut milk. At this point you can stir until thoroughly mixed if you like it a little chunky or you can place it into your blender for a very quick burst if you like it really smooth. Do not over blend, 10 seconds should do it. You will need a rubber spatula to get it all out of the container. If the soup is too thick, you can add a dash of milk or water. Place in a saucepan and heat on medium until hot. Because this is such a thick mixture, you need to stir it at least every minute while watching out that it doesn’t produce large aggressive heat bubbles which would be very messy, indeed.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Really, it’s that simple.

picture of basic pumpkin soup with coconut milk

Notice how thick the soup is.

 

Picture of pumpkin soup made with coconut milk and optional ingredients in a metal saucepan.

Adding some optional ingredients gives your soup some color and extra flavor.

 


 

A picture of shredded carrots, minced garlic, rosemary, onions, ginger, bell peppers and some fresh basil on a green cutting board

Some possible optional ingredients: minced fresh basil, minced ginger, fresh or dried curry leaves, minced garlic, minced onion, chopped bell pepper, grated carrots.

Optional additions

As promised, here are some optional ingredients to make it really personalized to your taste. Cooking time may need to be increased for the carrots, potatoes, green peppers, etc. You decide how much is enough – both in amount of ingredients added and size of each addition:

  • minced onions
  • chopped green pepper
  • minced garlic
  • minced ginger (extraordinary combination, I highly recommend it)
  • fresh or dried curry leaves
  • grate carrots
  • mushrooms
  • cooked and cubed potatoes
  • cubed cooked lamb
  • cubed beef roast
  • fresh chopped basil, rosemary, dill, or oregano

When you are ready to serve, you may like to top your serving with a touch of any of the following:

  • a dash of paprika or cinnamon
  • sunflower seeds
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • garlic croutons
  • fresh salsa

Nina Jones, a mainland gal from way back, is now a transplanted Islander. With her husband of 43 years, she has lived in Laie since serving a mission at the Polynesian Cultural Center from 2014 – 2016. She now serves as the blog manager for the Center. Her hobbies include swimming, traveling, studying and writing about what she is learning from the various Polynesian cultures. Her blogs focus on their history, beliefs, practices and – as an added bonus – delicious food! To her, Polynesia is not just a place to visit, it is a way to live and she is very honored to be able to be a part of their amazing world.

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