A few days ago my friend Meredith posted to snap chat an intriguing soup she had discovered at her office’s cafeteria. She raved over the soup’s deliciousness, vowed to crack the code, and hooked me. I stalked her snaps and Facebook until, on a particularly bitter cold afternoon this past weekend, she reported having deduced the recipe and thereby warmed her house and tummy. We saw each other at a holiday party shortly afterward and she offered some details.
Thank goodness for friends who are adventurous and love to cook! Because, dear reader, I have a new favorite: Creamy Coconut-Pumpkin Soup with Chicken. It is as weird and perfect as you might expect, and although I just yesterday inhaled this glorious food for His-and-Hers Soup Night at the Farm, I already cannot wait to make it again. So good.
I actually, literally, no joke, licked my bowl clean. Not sorry. Also, three cheers for using Christmas china on weeknights as often as possible.
The building blocks for this simple luxury are pumpkin puree and coconut milk, with plenty of unusual (to me) spices, add chicken breast (because protein!). The recipe came together fragrantly in less than the time it took to make chicken and dumplings for my guy, and I suspect it would do well in a slow cooker, too, which you can bet I’ll be trying soon.
If we gotta do winter let’s do it cozy, okay? OK. And let’s not skimp on vitamins and fiber. OK.
What You Need:
- olive oil
- salt, black pepper, garlic powder (optional)
- ground cayenne pepper, turmeric, ground ginger, curry if you have it (I did not)
- 3 celery stalks, diced, and a few cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup of coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 fully cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
What You Do:
- Sautee the celery and garlic till tender, adding spices as you go.
- Add the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Spice again, to taste.
- Add the fully cooked chicken and stir, taste, season, etc. It is ready to eat when it is all blended well and tastes good to you.
- Devour it all guiltlessly, knowing you are providing your hard-working body with gorgeous phyto-nutrients, hefty fiber, immunity-boosting spice, and that ever-important protein.
Other Gorgeous Ideas:
- Add roasted pumpkin seeds. (I forgot we had a can of these in the pantry!! Would have been so nice and crunchy.)
- Add lime juice.
- Include some onion with your garlic and celery. The Lazy W is “not in the onion business,” as my Grandpa says, due to an allergy. But I know all about the cooking trinity.
- Roast or saute some diced fresh pumpkin and let that simmer and soften more in the liquids. Mer said her original bowl of soup featured this and it was delicious, tender like cooked potatoes. Yum! I will try this soon. In fact in my kitchen right now is one final pumpkin from our Lazy W pumpkin patch that needs to be used. Destiny.
- Drizzle the finished soup with a little extra coconut milk.
- Fresh basil, yaaaaasssss.
- shrimp instead of chicken? Maybe…
Things I Adore About This Soup:
- It fills you up. Thoroughly. It is immensely satisfying on a cold, hard-working winter day.
- The creamy decadence is achieved with neither butter nor heavy cream or anything like that. I am a coconut milk convert.
- The spicy heat was a welcome reprieve from so many standard savory flavors lately. Perfect for when you crave something different but not something too different.
- It’s sweet without being sugary.
- Back to the bowl-licking: fewer dishes to wash!
- It’s a fast weeknight recipe if you have the chicken already cooked, and you can make it in small batches like this or just add cans and make more. Easy! I love that.
Thank you, beautiful Mer, for sharing your soup discovery and for doing the leg work of cracking the code! I am obsessed. My mouth actually watered while typing this blog post.
Have a cozy week, friends! I hope your final days of Christmas prep are clicking along joyfully.