Thai prawn and squash soup
- December 2007
- 8 large, raw, unpeeled prawns
- 2 shallots
- 1-2 red chillies, deseeded,
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
- Small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 400ml can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 star anise
- 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, sliced
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
- 100g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 3-4 curly kale or cavolo nero leaves, roughly shredded
- Lime wedges, to garnish
- Peel the prawns but leave the tail-shells on and reserve the shells. Put the prawns in the fridge. Place the prawn shells in a large saucepan with 750ml water and simmer for about 30 minutes to make a stunning, flavoursome prawn stock. Strain, discarding the shells – you should have about 500ml. Set aside until needed.
- Meanwhile, very finely chop the shallots, chillies, garlic and anchovy fillets together to a near paste. Put into a bowl and stir in the coriander.
- Put a frying pan over a medium heat. Open the coconut milk can carefully. Clinging to the lid or at the top of the can should be a thick cream; spoon this into the hot pan. Add the paste and fry until it gives off plenty of its herby (and slightly hot) smell. Add the rest of the coconut milk and the prawn stock, until you have a good broth. Add the fish sauce, sugar, star anise, ginger and lime leaves (if using), and simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin or squash and simmer for 10 minutes or until just tender. Add the shredded curly kale or cavolo nero and simmer for a further 2 minutes, until they wilt.
- When you’re ready to serve, add the prawns. If the soup seems a little too thick, add a dash of hot water. Simmer the prawns for 2 minutes or until they are just cooked. Remove the star anise, check the seasoning. 6. Serve in warm bowls with lime wedges to squeeze over.
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