Sunday, June 4, 2017

Thai Yellow Curry Squash, Veggie, & Seafood Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad and Sammie) Sundays

I love curries and although it is hard to play favorites with all of the different colors, styles, ingredients and countries--if pressed, I would pick Thai yellow curries as my very favorite. I adore the brighter flavors and the level of spice, which generally is enough to notice, but to not get blown away with heat. Usually a shrimp or tofu Thai yellow curry is my order of choice at Thai restaurants and I try to keep a container of yellow curry paste in my fridge to recreate the flavors at home.

I was craving yellow curry again this weekend and decided to take an easy Nigella Lawson recipe for Thai Yellow Pumpkin & Seafood Curry from Nigella Bites that starts with a store-bought base and make it into more of a brothy soup. I also wanted to use a quicker to chop and more seasonal summer squash in place of the pumpkin and add a few more veggies to the mix. The result was this fast and tasty Thai Yellow Curry Squash, Veggie, & Seafood Soup.

Nigella says, "Don't let the length of the list of ingredients put you off. You really could go to the supermarket at lunchtime and buy everything you need. What's more, most of it keeps: salmon, raw prawns, lime leaves and lemongrass in the deep-freeze (and all but the salmon can be used from frozen); curry paste in the fridge; the coconut milk, fish sauce, fish-stock concentrate and turmeric in the cupboard. In other words, one shopping expedition, many curries.

I've said 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste. This is because pastes vary enormously in their strengths and people vary enormously in their tastes. Some like it hot: I like it very hot - and use 2 tablespoonfuls. But it might be wiser to add 1 tablespoonful first and then taste later, once all the liquid's in, to see if you want to add more. One last bossy note: if you can't get raw prawns, don't use cooked ones; just double the amount of salmon."

My changes to incorporate a few different and more veggies and make it a thinner soup rather than curry are in red below.

Thai Yellow Curry Squash, Veggie, & Seafood Soup 
Adapted from Thai Yellow Pumpkin & Seafood Curry from Nigella Bites &
(Serves 4-6)

1 (14 oz) tin coconut milk (I used 2 15oz cans, separated)
1 to 2 Tbsp yellow Thai curry paste, or to taste (I used 4 Tbsp) 

12 oz fish stock (I used 24 oz light veggie stock)
3 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 Tbsp caster (fine grain) sugar
3 stalks lemongrass (cut into 3 and bruised with flat of knife)
3 kaffir lime leaves (destalked and cut into strips)
1/2 tsp turmeric (I used 1 tsp) 

2 1/4 lbs pumpkin (peeled and cut into bite sized chunks) (I used 2 lbs zucchini)
(I added 1 large sweet potato, cubed)
(I added 1 red bell pepper, chopped)  
1 1/4-lbs wild salmon fillets skinned and cut into large bite sized chunks
1 1/4-lbs peeled & deveined raw prawns
pak choi (or any other green veg of your choice) (I used baby bok choy)
juice of 1 lime (to taste)
1 bunch fresh coriander (to serve)
(I added Thai basil to serve)
basmati or brown rice to serve

Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined.

Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes. (Note: I cooked the sweet potato and red pepper for 10 minutes, then added the sliced zucchini for another 7 to 8 minutes so it retained a slightly firmer texture.)

You can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). Either way, when you're about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.

So, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you're using the prawns from frozen they'll need to go in before the salmon). When the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes, stir in any green veg you're using - sliced, chopped or shredded as suits - and tamp down with a wooden spoon.

When the pak choi's wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving.

Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

Notes/Results:  Although I took some liberties in adapting some of the ingredients in this recipe and making it into more of a soup, I kept to the spirit and flavor profile Nigella suggested and it was delicious. Enough spice to give it a pleasant heat, good lemongrass and lime essence and a nice balance of salty and sweet. I liked the combination of the shrimp and salmon with zucchini (in place of the butternut squash) and the added red pepper and sweet potato, and the baby bok choy that I used for the greens. It completely hit the spot. It is a satisfying curry soup, especially when served with the basmati rice but not too heavy for a warm day. Quick, easy, and delicious--I will happily make it again.

I'm linking this post over at I Heart Cooking Clubs where this is week is May Potluck--the chance to cook any recipe from our current or any previous IHCC chefs--like the lovely Nigella Lawson. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post. 

We have a few delicious dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared Asian Soup in 10 Minutes and said, "Are you looking for recipes that are healthy,  yet fast and easy to make? This Asian soup is one of my favorites. It takes just 10 minutes to cook and you can serve your family a hot nourishing bowl of vegetable soup that is flavorful and appealing. Low in calories and carbs, Asian soups are brothy and cook up very quickly making this a perfect soup when you are in a hurry. And since it's light, it pairs well with almost any entree."

Debra of Eliot's Eats made a gorgeous salad of Roasted Acorn Squash with Arugula and Chèvre from the foodie memoir Life From Scratch for Cook the Books. She said, "I chose this recipe because of its resemblance to a salad (you, know…our healthy eating…). I will keep this recipe in our rotation because it is delicious. It would also be good with butternut squash or small pumpkins. I think I will use basil and oregano the next time I make this and leave out the mint. Or, maybe I will use all three."

And it was a very curry-loving soupish week here at Kahakai Kitchen with a bowl of Gingery Green Curry Miso Broth with Zucchini Noodles made trying out some cool new KitchenIQ kitchen tools (BTW--there's a giveaway for a set up on the blog for U.S. mainland addresses). It was so delicious, I ate both bowls. ;-)

And then I made a delicious and unique White Dal Curry for Cook the Books April/May pick: Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin. The recipe came from the author's website and used pandan, cinnamon and curry leaves. I had to make a few adjustments based on sourcing locally, but the result was delicious and I may have found a new favorite dal.

Mahalo to Judee and Debra for joining in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. This will go nicely with all sorts of pasta and noodles! Excellent choice!

  2. Loving the curry theme you've had going lately. :) Linked up another salad for this week.

  3. Your curry looks delicious! I love curries and would be one happy gal if served with a big bowl of your seafood curry!

  4. I've never tried the yellow curry, only the red, so I'd love to give this a go. I think it looks absolutely gorgeous, Deb and I'm happy to see Nigella represented at the potluck:)I need to get her books out more often.

    Debra's acorn squash is gorgeous!

  5. Count me in this week with a white bean soup!


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