As the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, and maybe you start feeling those winter blues, make a big pot of this red curry chicken and pumpkin soup. When people think of comfort food, they usually don't think of it as exciting and interesting, but this incredibly tasty soup is the rare exception. It will warm your heart and sooth your soul, but stimulate you at the same time with its lovely contrast of flavors and textures.

Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
1 hr 10 mins
total:
1 hr 35 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat vegetable oil in a soup pot over high heat. Add chicken to hot oil; cook, stirring occasionally until browned, about 5 minutes.

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  • Stir in 1/2 of the red onion and brown sugar. Cook until onions have softened and sugar starts to caramelize on the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes. Stir in black pepper, cumin, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss in ginger and garlic; stir until sizzling, about 1 minute.

  • Add 4 cups chicken broth and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Add coconut milk and curry paste. Add cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Stir in fish sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

  • Carefully cut squash with a large knife on a cutting board. Remove seeds and peel and discard skin. Cut flesh into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 1 1/2 pounds squash.

  • Add squash to soup and salt to taste. Add remaining chicken broth to cover squash. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until pumpkin is just barely tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Stir in remaining red onion, bell pepper, and green onions; cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in 1/2 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup basil. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with more cilantro, basil, green onions, and serrano chiles. Squeeze lime juice into each bowl.

Chef's Notes:

Don't use low-fat coconut milk.

The amount of curry paste you use will depend on the brand and strength; it could range from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 cup. You can find curry paste in almost any large grocery store.

You can use any winter squash, like sugar pumpkin, pie pumpkin, kuri, kabocha, hubbard, etc. Do yourself a favor and try to find kabocha--it's got an extremely pleasant taste with a subtly-sweet flavor, and retains a nice texture, even when fully cooked. Just don't use a regular pumpkin, because those are very watery and almost tasteless.

For a less brothy soup, don't add the extra 2 cups chicken broth.

Nutrition Facts

454 calories; protein 30.8g 62% DV; carbohydrates 26.1g 8% DV; fat 26.2g 40% DV; cholesterol 97.3mg 32% DV; sodium 1532.8mg 61% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (11)

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12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/10/2020
Great soup from the master. I did not add the 'extra' 2c of broth, it was plenty soupy already, and I used delicata squash, worked fine. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/12/2020
I made it to share with my BF and BFF. The latter asked for the recipe so she can make it for herself! The only changes I made were omitting the bell peppers and serranos, as my friend and I both have severe sensitivities to pepper “meat.” Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/09/2020
Absolutely delicious and very easy to make! Thank you, Chef John for a great soup recipe! One tip. No need to peel kabocha. Its skin is delicious! We will make it again for sure. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/16/2020
This was yummy. I chose to peel my kabocha and cutting/peeling were pretty labor intensive. I am going to try this with sweet potatoes. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2020
Great recipe! I substituted acorn squash for pumpkin since I couldn’t get any at my grocery. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/10/2020
Soooooooooo DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for this recipe!!!! Woooohoooooo!!!!! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
11/14/2020
The flavour was delicious. I found it labour intensive. I could not find the kabocha squash in my neck of the woods, so I used a buttercup squash and it held up in the soup really well. Be very careful with the red curry paste! I used 2 teaspoons of the kind I have and ended up with a runny nose! A good dish for the weekend when you have the time to peel the squash...just sayin’... Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/14/2020
This soup is so hearty and delicious! The saltiness of the chicken stock, umami from the fish sauce and sweetness from the squash and red pepper balance each other out perfectly. Once again Chef John's recipe and video make what looks like a complex recipe easy to follow. I substituted for delicata squash since the kabocha wasn't available at my grocery store, and it was perfect! Adding this to our permanent recipe book. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/17/2020
Delicious - used butternut squash (since you can buy it cut up already right now) and substituted fish sauce for a 50/50 mix of soy sauce and rice vinegar. Can't go wrong with Chef John. Read More
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