PUMPKIN AND COCONUT SOUP
The Brazilian Kitchen
by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
Sopa de Abobora corn Coco
Like peas and carrots, pumpkins and coconuts are great pals. This very Brazilian partnership is traditionally seen in sweets and pastries, especially in jams sold in glass jars. I use it as another source of inspiration for a simple and casual soup. In terms of technique, it is similar to the classic American pumpkin soup, but the coconut milk adds a creamy and tropical flavor that elevates the pumpkin. If you'd like to add some texture, feel free to garnish the soup with lightly toasted pumpkin seeds or lightly toasted coconut or both.
Makes 4 To 6 Servings
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 3-pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
• 3 small carrots, coarsely chopped
• kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 onions, coarsely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
• 3/4 cup white wine
• 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
• 2 cups coconut milk
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives, for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the pumpkin and car- rots. Season very lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Be careful they don't turn brown.
2. Add the onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and let it get hot, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and let it reduce almost completely, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil again. Season lightly with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and gently simmer the soup until the pump- kin and carrots are completely cooked, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. As each batch of soup is pureed, pour it directly into a strainer set over another saucepan. Discard the solids. Add the butter and whisk well. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
5. Garnish with the chives.