Paleo pumpkin coconut soup

As the mercury drops (in most parts of the country anyway) we suggest you keep warm with this healthy heart-warming soup. As the chef suggests, you can use a pumpkin, sweet potato or any other starchy root vegetable as the primary ingredient. 

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1 brown onion, diced

1 lemongrass stalk, cut in thirds

1 long red chilli, diced and deseeded

2 tbsp diced fresh coriander (cilantro) stalks

2cm (3/4 in.) fresh galangal piece 2cm (3/4 in.) turmeric piece

4 kaffir lime leaves, optional

2 tsp coconut oil

3 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin 1 large garlic clove, diced

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 litre (1 qt.) vegetable stock

Peel from half of fresh lime

1/2 cup coconut cream (100ml or 3 1/2 fl. oz.), plus extra to serve

2 tbsp lime juice

Coriander leaves to serve


  1. Sauté onion, lemongrass, chilli, coriander stalks, galangal, turmeric and kaffir lime leaves in coconut oil, on medium heat, for 2–3 minutes. Add pumpkin, garlic, lime peel, fish sauce and vegetable stock and bring to boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, until pumpkin is soft when poked with a knife.

  2. Remove turmeric, galangal, lime peel and lemongrass from the soup and transfer the rest to a food processor or a blender. Purée until smooth, then add coconut cream and lime juice. Whiz a couple more times to incorporate. Serve with a ripple of coconut cream and fresh coriander leaves on top.


Fresh roots can be replaced with 2/3 tsp turmeric powder and 2/3 tsp galangal powder. Kent or butternut pumpkin can be used; sweet potato and carrots would also work well. Coconut milk can be used instead of coconut cream but put the tin/jar in the fridge for an hour or so to thicken the top half of the liquid.