Tired of boring old Pumpkin Soup?  Me too!  That is why I came up with this sensational Thai twist!  Velvety smooth pumpkin soup with fragrant thai red curry and a crunchy coriander and cashew pesto laced with lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves.  Think it sounds complicated?  Think again.

Serves 6

500gm piece of jap pumpkin, peeled and cut in to chunks
500gm piece of butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut in to chunks
500gm piece of QLD Blue, peeled and cut in to chunks
2 brown onions, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbs of thai red curry paste
2 tbs of fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbs of brown sugar
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
Extra water
400gm tin of coconut cream

For the Pesto

1 bunch of coriander, rinsed and stems removed and roughly chopped
2/3 of a cup of raw cashew nuts
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 stalk of lemon grass, roughly chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lime
Sea salt

1 large red chilli finely sliced
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Pure cream for drizzling

Heat a large saucepan and gently fry the onions until translucent.  Add the garlic and red curry paste and fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add the pumpkin pieces, stock and enough water to just cover the pumpkin.  Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Place the coriander, cashews, spring onions, lemon grass and lime leaves in a good food processor or blender.  Sprinkle with sea salt and add the oil and lime juice before blitzing.  You may need to take the lid off and stir the ingredients to help it along as the lemongrass can be quite woody and stick.  Add more olive oil if you think it is necessary.  Transfer to a container (freezes really well!).

When the pumpkin is tender, take the pot off the heat and use a hand blender or food processor to blend the pumpkin to a nice, thick and smooth consistency.  Add the coconut cream, lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar and stir really well to combine.  Bring back to a low simmer.

To serve, ladle a generous amount into large bowls.  Gently place a nice dollop of the pesto in the middle and drizzle over some olive oil.  To prevent the cream sinking to the bottom, pour it over a spoon in a haphazard fashion and top with a couple of chilli slices……..for that extra kick!  Serve the soup with some nice, oven baked turkish bread.