Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pumpkin Curry Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Pumpkin Curry Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Pumpkin Curry Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Pumpkin Curry Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Pumpkin Curry Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Pumpkin Curry Soup | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I should be working. You see, in about 10 hours I’ll be getting on a plane to Bangkok, sleeping in a hotel, and then getting on a 12 hour flight to Cologne, Germany. And I have a few items to cross of my checklist before I hop that flight. Instead, I want to tell you about Wee.

We discovered Wee’s Restaurant thanks to friends Zita and Jeremy, who found it via Trip Advisor (oh man do I have a love/hate relationship with that site, but that is for another time). We first ate at Wee’s in early November, and then we kept returning, and returning. My dad was the one who observed that she had a cooking class, and so I handed Wee my phone, she found herself on Facebook for me, and we started messaging about when we could do the class and what dishes to make. A few days later, we ate our Thanksgiving dinner at her place, and then a couple of days later Kylie, Walt, Jonah, and I spent 9 hours in her kitchen cranking out her amazing dishes.

What won me over was Wee’s wing bean salad with shrimp. But as I tried more and more of her dishes, I fell deeper and deeper. They were unique, unlike dishes that we had at other restaurants in Chiang Mai. They tasted more complex, more interesting. You know when you can taste that something has been made with care and, dare I say it, love? That’s how Wee’s food tasted to me. Between that and Wee’s sense of humor and her infectious smile, I knew we would get along.

It felt like we made a majority of Wee’s menu in the kitchen that day, but we truly only scratched the surface. This pumpkin soup that we had on Thanksgiving was one dish that kept me coming back. The pumpkin is sweet, the coconut broth a little spicy from the curry paste, and herby from the kaffir lime and lemongrass. And the best thing about it that just as I was eating it in warm Chiang Mai, I could imagine my friends back at home making it to warm themselves up.


Pumpkin Curry Soup

Serves 1 as main, 2 as a side

Notes: If you feel like making your curry paste from scratch, the recipe is below! Brown sugar can be substituted for palm sugar. For the stock, we used fish stock, but chicken, mushroom, or just plain water would work as well. Also, like the Tom Yum Koong, there is a “flavor group” of ingredients that is not meant to be eaten – in this case the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. I have never seen cha plu leaves for sale in the U.S. but I’m sure they’re out there somewhere. In the mean time, if you can’t find them, feel free to substitute spinach.


Pumpkin Soup

2 Tbsp chili oil
2 tsp red curry paste (recipe below if you feel like making it from scratch!)
1 1/2 tsp palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut milk, divided
1 cup stock or water
3-5 slices red chili
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed and sliced
3 cha plu leaves or 6 or so spinach leaves
1/4 cup Thai basil
1 1/2 cups cubed pumpkin

Red curry paste

4 dried red chili, soaked in hot water for 2-3 minutes
1 small stalk lemongrass
3 large slices galangal
2 large cloves garlic
4 slices turmeric
2 small shallots
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds


Pumpkin Soup

In a small pot, heat chili oil over low heat. Add curry paste, palm sugar, shrimp paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime, and 2 Tbsp coconut milk. Mix to combine so there are no chunks of curry paste, sugar, or shrimp paste.

Add pumpkin, red pepper slices, and stock. Simmer until the pumpkin is almost cooked through. Add the cha plu/spinach leaves, the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk, and fish sauce. Stir to combine. Stir in basil, remove from heat, and serve.

Red Curry Paste

Pound ingredients together in a mortar and pestle until a paste forms. Yes, it’s as simple as that.