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Pumpkin and Chilli Soup

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 shallots, finely chopped
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) shrimp paste
15 ml (1 tbsp) dried shrimps soaked for 10 minutes and drained
1 stalk lemon grass, chopped
2 green chillies, seeded
salt, to taste
600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
450 g (1 lb) pumpkin, cut into 2 cm (3/4 in) thick chunks
600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups coconut cream
30 ml (2 tbsp) fish sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) granulated sugar
115 g (4 oz) small cooked shelled prawns
freshly ground black pepper
2 red chillies, seeded and finely sliced, to garnish
10 ? 12 basil leaves, to garnish

method

1. Grind the garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, dried shrimps, lemon grass, green chillies and salt into a paste.

2. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock to the boil, add the ground paste and stir to dissolve.

3. Add the pumpkin and simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

4. Stir in the coconut cream, then bring back to a simmer. Add the fish sauce, sugar and ground black
pepper to taste


5. Add the prawns and cook until they are heated through. Serve garnished with the sliced red chillies and basil leaves.

Shrimp paste, which is made from ground shrimps fermented in brine, is used to give food a savoury flavour.

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