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chunks of pumpkin in a red coconut curry broth with thin noodles in a white bowl topped with pumpkin seeds and cilantro
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Thai Red Coconut Curry with Pumpkin

The cooling flavor of the coconut milk contrasts with the taste of the nutty roasted pumpkin and the slightly spicy effect of the curry paste. The impressive bright color of this vegetarian Thai curry is perfect for a cozy fall day. 
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Keyword coconut, coconut milk, curry, fall, noodles, pumpkin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the red curry paste:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 medium shallots
  • 2- inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 5 medium Thai chilies
  • 2 dried California chilies (dried Anaheim chilies)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender parts sliced only
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 (3-pound) sugar pumpkin, seeds removed, peeled and chopped into 2” pieces
  • ¼ cup red curry paste
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce, optional

For serving:

  • 7 ounces thin rice noodles
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Instructions

For the red curry paste:

  • Heat a medium non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the coriander and cumin, shaking the pan occasionally until the seeds are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat oven to broil. Peel the garlic cloves. Arrange the garlic, shallots and ginger on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until garlic is fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the bowl of a food processor with the Thai and California chilies, lemongrass, curry powder, coriander and cumin, processing and scraping down the sides as needed until pureed and smooth.
  • Can be made and stored, refrigerated, in an airtight container until ready to use for about 2 weeks.

For the soup:

  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin, cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the red curry paste and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes then add the remaining coconut milk and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and fish sauce and remove from heat.

For serving:

  • Add the rice noodles to a bowl of hot water and let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Divide the noodles among soup bowls and ladle the curry over the top. Garnish with green onion, cilantro and pepitas.