Brown Rice, Coconut and Chilli Pumpkin Soup

, from Issue #36. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Brown Rice, Coconut and Chilli Pumpkin Soup

Serves: 4–6


800 grams pumpkin
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
200 grams brown rice, rinsed
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
juice of 1-2 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3-4 spring onions, finely sliced

To serve
handful bean sprouts


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Peel, deseed and cut the pumpkin into 1 cm cubes. Place in a roasting dish and toss through 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the chilli flakes. Season. Roast for 20 minutes or until just cooked. Remove and set aside to cool, reserving any oil that is left in the pan.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium stockpot and sauté the onion for several minutes until soft and translucent but not browned. Stir in the garlic, ginger and rice and sauté for a further couple of minutes. Add the stock, coconut milk, lime juice and fish sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is just cooked.

Stir in the pumpkin, with its reserved oil, and all but a few of the spring onions. Bring back to the boil then turn off the heat and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

To serve: Garnish with the remaining spring onions and bean sprouts. The rice will keep absorbing the liquid so if leaving it longer you could add a little additional stock or water just before serving.