Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste

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This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. Serve inside a pumpkin for a spooky Halloween presentation or just enjoy it alone.

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Want to add a Halloween inspired dessert? Try these cupcakes:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

These chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes have a secret peanut butter cup treat at the bottom and Reese’s frosting. Decorated like witches, they are the perfect Halloween trick AND treat. #halloween #halloweencupcakes #partyrecipes #reeses #peanutbutter #chocolatecupcakes #reesescupcakes | www.megiswell.com

Thai Red Curry Paste

This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | #Halloween #pumpkin | www.megiswell.com

Curry pastes are my absolute favorite flavor-enhancing ingredients to use in my cooking. They take some time to make but then supply you with quick flavor bombs.

Thai Green Curry Paste and Thai Yellow Curry Paste are kitchen staples. I’m already thinking of other recipes I want to do with this red, like a fettuccini and shrimp pasta dish. But for now, here are some other recipes I use curry pastes in:

If you want more step-by-step instructions, check out the Thai Yellow Curry Paste post. Although each curry recipe is slightly different, they all have the same basic instructions. That’s the post I devoted time to covering the ingredients and steps.

Thai Yellow Curry Paste made from scratch adds a TON of flavor to food. And it's easy to make. Find out how at www.megiswell.com

Now that I’ve made green, yellow, and red, I can see many of the similarities and differences:

  • Green is the freshest and most “raw” and is also the only one that is vegetarian and vegan. All the others have shrimp paste.
  • Yellow is the richest and most roasted and toasty. The garlic, shallots, ginger, and galangal are all roasted in the oven to add even more flavor and creates a creamier and smoother paste.
  • Red is the perfect combo of both green and yellow. Only the spices are roasted and everything else is raw. It builds off the green by adding lots of red chilies or peppers to give it that deep red color.

Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste

Freshly roasted pumpkin puree, a little broth, coconut milk, curry paste, and a dash of coconut sugar and fish sauce are all that’s in this Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste.

This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | #Halloween #pumpkin | www.megiswell.com

I did consider making this a 100% blender soup. But I think the little bit of time the curry paste spends sizzling on the skillet adds extra flavor. Letting a whole Thai lime leaf cook in the soup for a few minutes also gives it added depth.

After the soup cooked on the stove, I added it back to the blender for a quick blend to get rid of waxy pepper skins. This is admittedly annoying, going from the blender, to stove, and back to blender. But in the end, I think it takes less time then removing the pepper skins.

Spooky Halloween Presentation

This is one of the easiest ways to serve a soup for a Halloween party. You just need a pumpkin, a knife, black permanent marker, and some red food dye.

This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | #Halloween #pumpkin | www.megiswell.com

A baked pumpkin has a more rustic look, which I prefer. And I didn’t want to put the soup in a raw pumpkin because it’s yucky. I tried to use the same pumpkin I used for the soup but by taking out the pumpkin flesh, it can’t hold liquid.

After the pumpkin has served its purpose you can use it for another batch of Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste.

First Halloween and Sigmoidoscopy Prep

I apologize if you’re starting to feel like I only have two types of recipes on this blog: desserts and soups. Dessert inspiration tends to hit me all at once while meals come about from leftovers, excess fruits and veggies, or diet restrictions.

Completely smooth soups come in handy for someone who has to go on liquid diets occasionally. Sometimes after I’ve had a lot of fiber, a salad, or raw food, a soup helps give my body a break while it struggles to digest food without a colon.

Sunday I have to go on a clear liquid diet and drink some magnesium nitrate to prep for a sigmoidoscopy. It’s been exactly a year since I finally escaped from the hospital and I haven’t been back. I’m FINALLY looking forward to celebrating Halloween when I’m healthy.

It’s my absolute favorite holiday. But since being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis I’ve almost always been ill or on the mend from hospitalizations. I almost feel like I’m celebrating my first Halloween, I’m so excited.

Since getting my colon removed, a temporary ileostomy, and getting everything reconnected again, my body has adjusted to a new way of life. There’s always some bumps and bruises during this process and I’ve had to learn new lessons as I’ve gotten more busy with life.

Recently, I’ve had two extremely painful nights after busy days where I was traveling a lot, dehydrated, and had no time to eat regular meals. My GI doctor wants to evaluate my j-pouch to make sure everything is okay. Wish me luck!

Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste

This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. Serve inside a pumpkin for a spooky Halloween presentation or just enjoy it alone.
Servings 4
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients

Thai Red Curry Paste

  • 10 dried red Thai Chilies
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 6 Thai lime leaves, finely chopped also called kaffir lime leaves, or bak makroot
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons galangal, chopped
  • 5 red Fresno peppers*, chopped or 1 cup chopped red chilies/pepper mix
  • 1/4 cup garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shallots, diced
  • 2 teaspoons shrimp paste*
  • 1 tablespoon Morton Kosher Salt

Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste

  • 4 cups pumpkin 1 medium-large sugar pie pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup broth
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Morton Kosher Salt, or to taste
  • 1 Thai lime leaf

Spooky Halloween Pumpkin Bowl Presentation

  • 1 sugar pie pumpkin, medium-large
  • black permanent marker
  • red food dye
  • large knife

Instructions

Thai Red Curry Paste

  • If you haven’t made the paste beforehand, you can start baking the pumpkins while you make it. See instructions below for starting the Pumpkin Soup. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into a bowl with the dried chilies. Let the chilies soak while you prepare all the other ingredients. 
  • Toast the coriander, peppercorns, and cumin in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, light brown, and they begin to crackle and pop (about 1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely before grinding in a spice grinder, in a mortar and pestle, or in a Vitamix. 
  • Drain the chiles soaking in the bowl but reserve the soaking liquid. 
  • Place the chiles in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they have been chopped into fairly small pieces. 
  • Add the lemongrass and pulse until they have reached a shredded consistency. 
  • Add the Thai lime leaves and cilantro and pulse. Add the galangal and pulse until it’s finely chopped and incorporated. 
  • Add the red peppers and pulse until finely chopped and incorporated. 
  • Add the garlic and shallots and pulse until they are finely chopped and are fully incorporated. 
  • Add the shrimp paste and pulse until it is incorporated. You might have to add a tablespoon of the reserved chili-soaking liquid to make the mixture move around. 
  • Add the toasted and ground spices and the salt and pulse until fully incorporated. 
  • Store in mason jars in the freezer. 

Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Cut a sugar pie pumpkin in half and place face down on a baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until you can pierce the skins with a fork. 
  • Scoop out the pumpkin and puree in a blender or food processor. Measure out 4 cups. 
  • Add the broth and the pumpkin to a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Pour a little coconut milk into the skillet and add the curry paste. Stir until it starts to sizzle (1 to 2 minutes). 
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk and cook until it starts to simmer. 
  • Add the pumpkin puree and stir until combined. 
  • Add the fish sauce and coconut sugar, stir. Taste and add salt, if needed. 
  • Add the Thai lime leaf and cook until the soup has come to a simmer and is hot. 
  • Optional: take the Thai lime leaf out and blend the soup again for a completely smooth soup without bits of waxy pepper skin.

Spooky Halloween Pumpkin Bowl Presentation

  • Cut out the top of the pumpkin, cutting down into the cavity of the pumpkin and making sure the hole is big enough to fit your hand through. Scoop out the seeds and stringy strands of pumpkin. Trim the bottom of the lid as well.
  • Draw the Jack-O-Lantern face on in black permanent marker. 
  • Season the cavity of the pumpkin with butter, salt, and pepper. Place the pumpkin and the cut-out top on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Watch the lid, if it starts to shrink go ahead and take it out of the oven. Otherwise, it will become smaller than the opening and fall through.  
  • The pumpkin flesh will still be a little hard but it needs to be firm enough to hold liquid. 
  • Pour the prepared soup into the pumpkin, place the lid on, and arrange the knife. Be careful to not pierce through the pumpkin’s skin. 
  • Drip red food dye around the top of the lid and let it drip down the face of the pumpkin. 
  • Don’t throw the pumpkin bowl out! You can make another batch of soup with it or create something else with it.  

Notes

*Easily adjust the heat of the paste by choosing any red pepper or chilies you want. You can use red bell peppers if spicy food isn’t your thing.
*Shrimp paste is a salt-fermented shrimp product and adds a lot of flavor to curry pastes. For vegetarian or vegan versions, the best substitutes would be salt-fermented soybean products such as yellow bean sauce, fermented bean paste, or fermented tofu (also known as fermented bean curd, tofu cheese, soy cheese, or preserved tofu). Replace the fish sauce with soy sauce or Tamari. 
Use two separate pumpkins for the soup and for the presentation. If you take the pumpkin flesh out of the roasted whole pumpkin, it won’t hold the soup. You can also just use a raw pumpkin for the bowl. I just like the oven roasted look better.
 
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Soups
Make Thai Red Curry Paste from scratch and add amazing flavor to your cooking! | www.megiswell.com

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This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | #Halloween #pumpkin | www.megiswell.com

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This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | #Halloween #pumpkin | www.megiswell.com

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This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | Recipes with Curry Paste | Fall Soup Recipes | #Halloween #pumpkin #currypaste #redcurrypaste #spicysoup | www.megiswell.com
This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | Recipes with Curry Paste | Fall Soup Recipes | #Halloween #pumpkin #currypaste #redcurrypaste #spicysoup | www.megiswell.com
This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | Recipes with Curry Paste | Fall Soup Recipes | #Halloween #pumpkin #currypaste #redcurrypaste #spicysoup | www.megiswell.com
This Pumpkin Soup with Thai Red Curry Paste is spicy with a subtle sweetness emphasized by Thai lime leaves and creamy coconut milk. | Spooky Halloween Presentation | Recipes with Curry Paste | Fall Soup Recipes | #Halloween #pumpkin #currypaste #redcurrypaste #spicysoup | www.megiswell.com

Join the Conversation

  1. NEVER apologize for sharing desserts and soups. You do you! Plus, this recipe sounds divine, so I’m happy you shared it!

    1. Haha, thank you, I’ll keep doing me!

  2. I still can’t get over that pumpkin photo, I really love how the light bounces on that knife blade! And I love the backgrounds you are using in this shoot, did you make them yourself? And Thai Red curry soup…. Yes please!

    Good luck with with everything concerning UC and I hope you really enjoy Halloween this year! ?

    1. Thanks, James! And I did make them myself. I got the instructions on how to do them from Confessions of a Foodie’s How to paint photo backgrounds for food photography.

  3. This recipe looks like so much fun, and just in time to fit in to my Halloween party plans! Good luck going into your appointment, my fingers are crossed for you.

    1. Thank you, Jessica! It is a lot of fun and easy too. I can’t do much more than drawl wobbly Jack-O-Lantern faces (which luckily makes it look spooky instead of just bad ?).

  4. I’ll be praying that your doctor’s appt goes well!! I love thai red curry, I agree it would be so good on Fettuccini. This soup looks amazing as well! I love the idea of pumpkin with curry. I cook in similar ways where savory foods come by way of leftovers or surplus produce!

    1. Thank you, Amanda! It went really well and everything looked pretty good. A local restaurant makes a really good Thai inspired fettuccini and shrimp dish. It’s pretty much the main reason I decided to make red curry paste. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who creates savory foods mostly from leftovers or surplus produce!

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