Potimarron is a type of French winter squash that takes on the flavour of pumpkin (potiron) and roasted chestnut (marron). Depending on where you live, the squash may also be called Hokkaido or Kuri squash — Kuri meaning chestnut in Japanese.
Potimarrons come in all sizes, but they are generally smaller, sweeter and tastier than North American pumpkins. When roasted, the flesh becomes rich, caramelised and so delicious! I highly recommend that you oven-roast the potimarron prior to making this soup.
High in vitamins C, E and B6, fiber, magnesium and potassium, potimarron flesh also contains powerful antioxidants that help keep your eyes healthy. The health benefits of orange-fleshed squash are numerous. You can read on some of them here.
Made with lemongrass, red curry paste, basil leaves, coconut milk and lime juice and peel, this recipe will spice up your traditional squash or pumpkin soup and give it a taste of Thai.
Potimarron Thai soup
- Olive oil & salt for roasting
- 4 cups of roasted potimarron flesh (taken from 2 potimarrons)
- 3 tablespoons (tbsp) vegetable oil
- 1 small cooking onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger root
- 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped into 2 parts
- 2 tbsps Thai red curry paste
- ¼ cup of water
- 4-5 cups low sodium vegetable broth, preferably homemade (start with 4 cups; can increase later)
- 2 large fresh basil leaves (sweet Thai or regular basil)
- A sliver or small segment of lime peel
- ½-1 cup organic coconut milk (start with ½ cup; can increase later)
- 2 tbsps lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Garnish (option): fresh coriander leaves, roasted seeds, a dollop of cream.
Step 1: Roast the potimarron
Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F). Divide each potimarron into two parts by slicing along the middle circumference with a butcher’s knife. Scoop out the middle seeded part with a spoon.
Slice off a thin segment at the bottom of each piece to create a flat surface (so that they stand up straight). Place the potimarron sections on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast on middle rack for 30–40 minutes (depending on size), or until the flesh is fork tender and caramelised. When done, allow to cool. Scoop out flesh and measure 4 cups. You can refridgerate or freeze remaining flesh in a sealed container for future use.
Step 2: Make the soup
In a big soup pot, heat the vegetable oil and lower the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and red curry paste. Mix with wooden spoon until combined. Add the water and cook for 3 more minutes mixing often.
Add the 4 cups of roasted potimarron flesh and mix this in well with the onion and spice mixture. Add the broth, stirring to incorporate. Add the basil and the lime peel sliver and mix. Increase the heat and bring to the boil then quickly reduce to a low simmer. Allow to simmer with lid half on for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the coconut milk and lime juice and mix these in well on low heat. Remove the lemongrass segments but leave in the basil leaves and lime peel sliver in the soup. Process the soup directly in the pot with a handheld blender until creamy-smooth. Add salt. Do a test taste and add more coconut milk and/or broth to adjust the spiciness and consistency that suit your taste.
Take off the heat and let the soup settle for 5 minutes or longer. Serve warm and garnish with fresh coriander, roasted pumpkin or sesame seeds or as desired.