This soup is subtle (or not so subtle if you load up on the chili!) and wonderful with the coconut, cilantro, lemon combination. Perfect for this time of year - and if you've never cooked with a whole pumpkin before (I hadn't) this is a great place to start. I highly recommend that you split the pumpkin into halves or quarters, prick the inside all over with a fork, and stick it in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes to soften before you try to peel it and chop it up. Roasting also brings out the wonderful pumpkin flavor. And, make sure you roast those seeds, too! Here's a little trick for detangling the seeds: when you pull them out of the pumpkin, dump them in a bowl of water and sqeeze them around with your hands for a while. The seeds will float and the goo will sink!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small pumpkin, skinned and chopped into 1-inch chunks
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
1 TBSP chili powder
1-2 TBSP lemon rind, grated
4-5 shakes soy sauce
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
yogurt, cilantro, lemon peel, for garnish
In a large pot, heat oil and gently cook onion with brown sugar and garlic over low heat until softened (8-10 minutes). Add chopped pumpkin, vegetable broth, coconut milk, chili powder, lemon rind and soy sauce. Season with freshly ground pepper. Simmer for about 25 minutes until tender. Remove and puree until smooth. Just before serving, adjust seasoning to taste. Mix in chopped cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkled cilantro and lemon rind.