2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 shallots, sliced
2 pieces fresh lemongrass, cut in half and bruised (optional)
2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Thai Kitchen® Roasted Red Chili Paste
2 kaffir lime leaves, broken in half (optional)
1 1/4 pounds (567 g) pumpkin or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (400 mL) Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Thai Kitchen® Premium Fish Sauce
1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar
Ground white pepper to taste
2 small red chiles, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)
PLACE garlic, shallots and lemongrass in a food processor, or with mortar and pestle, process or grind into a paste. Bring chicken broth to boil in large saucepan. Add garlic mixture, chili paste and kaffir lime leaves; stir to dissolve chili paste. Add pumpkin; simmer 15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
STIR in coconut milk; return to simmer. Add fish sauce, sugar and white pepper; simmer 5 minutes. Remove any large pieces of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Cool slightly.
PUREE soup in food processor or blender. Serve warm or chilled. Garnish with red chiles and sprigs of cilantro, if desired.
Thai Kitchen Tip: Shredded cooked chicken or small cooked shrimp may be sprinkled on the bisque as a garnish. Laotians make this soup without the coconut milk and usually add chunks of fish, such as catfish.