This sweet soup can be served in small individual pumpkins for a sophisticated presentation. The soup will be then turned into a lovely surprise for your guests. You can also use crab meat instead of prawns or use them both for a pumpkin seafood soup.
4 prawns, deveined
1 teaspoons white peppercorn
1 coriander root
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
400 ml chicken or shrimp stock
200 g pumpkin, peeled and cut in 2 cm cubes
1 tablespoon dry shrimps
1 lemongrass stalk, sliced
3 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon roasted chili paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
50 ml coconut cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 handful sweet basil leaves (reserve a few to garnish)
1 handful lime basil leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, to stir-fry
Stir-fry the prawns (unpeeled) in the saucepan, with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, until half cooked. Remove from the saucepan. Reserve.
Pound peppercorn, coriander root and garlic cloves to achieve a smooth paste.
Stir-fry garlic-coriander paste and shrimp paste until it starts to release the flavors. Add pumpkin, dry shrimps, lemongrass and onion. Stir-fry briefly. Then pour the stock into the saucepan.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then, transfer the mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into the saucepan, add seasoning (chili paste, fish sauce and lime juice) + coconut cream. Mix well, add prawns (peeled), cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Taste to see if any extra seasoning is required, then add basil leaves and remove from the heat.