Thai pumpkin soup a warm Halloween night treat

Tonight is a time for all young citizens of our community to go door to door looking for treats.

Happy Halloween folks!

Tonight is a time for all young citizens of our community to go door to door looking for treats.  Getting dressed in some kind of costume is always a big part of the festivities for the youngsters. Procuring popcorn balls, homemade candy, store type sweets, and more is the ‘rite’ of those going door to door singing out ‘trick or treat.’

So, after all the decorations for the big evening are complete, what do you plan to do with your pumpkin?

Don’t throw it away, because there are so many different dishes that can be made featuring the iconic symbol of Halloween.  You could make pumpkin pie ice cream, pumpkin quesadillas, pumpkin pie milkshake, many different kinds of pumpkin soups and of course pumpkin pie and many other great desserts.

A lot of pumpkin recipes need a pumpkin puree to start.  Take a medium size pumpkin cut into quarters, clean out seeds and stringy stuff and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 90 minutes depending upon size.

Scoop out flesh and then in a bowl mash it with a fork, or in some soups you may want to put in a blender for a smoother consistency.  You need only about 30 ounces of pumpkin puree for a soup, dessert, or other dishes so don’t throw the pumpkin away after it has served its decorative purpose this Halloween.

My wife makes the very best pumpkin pie and so we store a few pumpkins away in the cool room and they last for some time, enough to make some pumpkin smoothies and a good soup, when the snow is on the ground.

Because pumpkin is so versatile as a food I thought I would pass along a real different way using it.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

• 2 tbsp red curry paste

• 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

• 30 ounces of pumpkin puree … you can use the tin type if not fresh

• 1 tin of coconut milk …save a tbsp for decoration

• 1 large red chili pepper sliced thinly

• Cilantro for garnish

In a pan over medium heat cook the curry paste for about one or two minutes, until it becomes nice and fragrant.  Add the broth and the pumpkin, then stir. Cook for three minutes or until it starts to bubble, add the coconut milk and cook until hot.

Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with one tablespoon of the saved coconut milk, then add a few cilantro leaves if you like.

A nice way to use pumpkin.

Drive with care and caution with young ones out on the street tonight.

Bye for now and Goood Cooking.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.