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Penang Curried Pumpkin and Prawn Soup

Today's recipe comes to us from Kevin Lynch of Toronto, Canada… a FoodBuzz featured publisher whose blog, Closet Cooking, presents a wealth of great recipes.

As Kevin says, “I came to realize that my meals were boring and that I had been eating the same few dishes over and over again for years. It was time for a change! Now I spend my free time searching for and trying tasty new recipes.”

This delicious Southeast Asian dish is full of flavors, not least of which are the pure, succulent flavors of Pacific spot prawns. Penang is a state in Malaysia, located on the northwest coast, whose characteristic spice blend is milder than other curries.

In addition to its many flavors, this dish combines red pepper, green onions, butternut squash and peanuts for a complex interplay of texture and color. It combines the warmth of curry and the creamy taste of coconut milk. Enjoy!

Penang Curried Pumpkin and Prawn Soup

Serves 4

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
2 tablespoons Penang curry paste*
6 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 Kaffir lime** leaves (optional; thinly sliced)
2 cups butternut squash (cut into bite sized cubes)
1 red (bell) pepper (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 teaspoon palm or cane sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup peanut butter
16 oz (20
25) Pacific Spot Prawns (shelled and de-veined)
1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped) or Thai basil
2 green onions (sliced)
1 birds eye chili (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup peanuts (roasted and chopped)

*If you can't find Penang curry paste, you can use another mild curry paste.

**Kaffir lime leaves can be hard to find, but you can omit them or substitute lemon or lime leaves, lime zest, dried bay leaves, lemon thyme, or lemon verbena.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the thicker coconut milk that floats at the top in a pan (or can). 
  • Add the curry paste and sauté until fragrant, about 1‒2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, butternut squash, red pepper, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and peanut butter and simmer until the butternut squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the peas and pacific spot prawns and simmer until the shrimp is cooked, about 2‒4 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with cilantro, green onions, birds eye chili and peanuts.

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