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Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup with Prawns

User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup with Prawns

Soothing Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup

This Thai pumpkin coconut soup is a soothing comfort food when the weather turns cooler. Squash may be substituted for pumpkin, and other vegetables may be added if you want it even healthier. Any way you cook it, you'll have your guests asking for second helpings of this delicious, nutritious Thai soup. Richly colorful and aromatic, this soup is excellent during the fall and winter months when the lemongrass will benefit your immune system and help keep away those nasty flu bugs. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • SERVES 2-3 as a main entree
  • 6 cups good-tasting chicken stock
  • 3 cups cubed, peeled pumpkin or squash
  • 1-2 cups sweet potato, cubed
  • 12-18 medium tiger prawns
  • 2 or more heads of baby bok choy, larger leaves cut in half
  • 1/3 to 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk (not 'lite')
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, minced (see below) OR 4 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced (or substitute 1/4 cup purple onion)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal or ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. regular chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 fresh red chili, thinly sliced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
  • generous handful fresh basil or coriander for garnish


For fresh lemongrass instructions, see my All About Lemongrass Guide.

  1. Place stock in a large soup pot over high heat.
  2. Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, garlic, shallot, galangal or ginger. Boil 1 minute.
  3. Add pumpkin or squash and sweet potato. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-high, simmering for 5-8 minutes, or until these vegetables are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
  4. While simmering, add all the other 'flavorings': chili powder, ground coriander and cumin, fish sauce, shrimp paste, turmeric, brown sugar, lime juice and chili.
  5. Now add the prawns and bok choy. Cover and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until prawns are pink and plump.
  6. Reduce heat to low and add the coconut milk, stirring to combine (add up to 1/2 can for very creamy, coconut-flavored soup). Taste-test the soup, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough (note that the saltiness of your soup will depend on how salty your stock was to start with). If too sour for your taste, add a little more brown sugar. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
  7. Ladle into bowls and serve hot with fresh basil sprinkled over. This soup may also be served with cooked rice or noodles for a nutritionally-balanced meal. Enjoy!

User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
Excellent Recipe, Member Peter_Jones

I followed this recipe to the letter and it turned out really tasty. The suggestions at the end about how to tweak the flavour worked really well. We added a little extra lime juice. The only other thing worth saying is that the recipe says that it makes 2-3 servings but it comes out to more like 6 servings. It's not really a worry because it was so tasty and left-overs are certainly welcome. This was the first time I made Thai food that actually tasted like Thai food. Thanks a million.

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