Pumpkin Tom Kha (Coconut Lemongrass Soup)

This soup is inspired by the Lao Pumpkin and Coconut Tom Kha at my favorite local restaurant, Pho Lena, in Anchorage. It’s basically Tom Kha Gai without the chicken and with pumpkin instead. I add tofu for a protein boost! In Alaska, it can be difficult to find some of the very specific ingredients for Tom Kha so I’ve included commonplace substitutions. I have to use ginger, lime rind, and canned mushrooms because galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and straw mushrooms aren’t accessible. Still, the soup is absolutely divine!

Produce On Parade- Pumpkin Tom Kha (Coconut Lemongrass Soup) - This soup is inspired by the Lao Pumpkin and Coconut Tom Kha at my favorite local restaurant, Pho Lena, in Anchorage. It’s basically Tom Kha Gai without the chicken and with pumpkin instead. I add tofu for a protein boost! In Alaska, it can be difficult to find some of the very specific ingredients for Tom Kha so I’ve included commonplace substitutions. I have to use ginger, lime rind, and canned mushrooms because galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and straw mushrooms aren’t accessible. Still, the soup is absolutely divine!

I'm almost scared to post this recipe, but I have to because it's one of my very favorite soups and I'm not ignorant to the fact that many folks aren't able to source authentic, specialty ingredients; especially those of us in rural areas (and especially in Alaska).

Does this mean we can't or shouldn't try to replicate our favorite ethnic dishes? I don't think so. In no way am I claiming this Tom Kha to be authentic, however, I think it's a pretty darn good replication with ingredients one can get at any local grocery store. It's my hope that you enjoy it as much as I do and if you're able to find galangal, straw mushrooms, and kaffir lime leaves... um...send me some in the mail, please. Pretty please?

Produce On Parade- Pumpkin Tom Kha (Coconut Lemongrass Soup) - This soup is inspired by the Lao Pumpkin and Coconut Tom Kha at my favorite local restaurant, Pho Lena, in Anchorage. It’s basically Tom Kha Gai without the chicken and with pumpkin instead. I add tofu for a protein boost! In Alaska, it can be difficult to find some of the very specific ingredients for Tom Kha so I’ve included commonplace substitutions. I have to use ginger, lime rind, and canned mushrooms because galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and straw mushrooms aren’t accessible. Still, the soup is absolutely divine!

It's my great joy to share this recipe with all of you small-town kids who struggle with making pretty much anything 'authentic'. I refuse to be constrained to tofu noodle soup because my store doesn't care bird's eye chilis. Who's with me!?

Produce On Parade- Pumpkin Tom Kha (Coconut Lemongrass Soup) - This soup is inspired by the Lao Pumpkin and Coconut Tom Kha at my favorite local restaurant, Pho Lena, in Anchorage. It’s basically Tom Kha Gai without the chicken and with pumpkin instead. I add tofu for a protein boost! In Alaska, it can be difficult to find some of the very specific ingredients for Tom Kha so I’ve included commonplace substitutions. I have to use ginger, lime rind, and canned mushrooms because galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and straw mushrooms aren’t accessible. Still, the soup is absolutely divine!

Pumpkin Tom Kha (Coconut Lemongrass Soup)

Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Published 10/28/2016

This soup is inspired by the Lao Pumpkin and Coconut Tom Kha at my favorite local restaurant, Pho Lena, in Anchorage. It’s basically Tom Kha Gai without the chicken and with pumpkin instead. I add tofu for a protein boost! In Alaska, it can be difficult to find some of the very specific ingredients for Tom Kha so I’ve included commonplace substitutions. I have to use ginger, lime rind, and canned mushrooms because galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and straw mushrooms aren’t accessible. Still, the soup is absolutely divine!

Ingredients

  • 1 small pumpkin or delicata squash (2 cups cubed)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 stick of fresh lemongrass
  • 1 1-inch piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and micrograted
  • dash of crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves or 1 1-inch piece of lime rind
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
  • ½ lb fresh straw mushrooms or 1 8oz can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • ½ of a 14 oz block of firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 limes, juiced (¼ cup juice)
  • 3 tbsp vegan fish sauce or 1 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Deseed the pumpkin and cut off the ends. Slice into wedges and steam for 15-20 minutes until just tender. Set aside to cool. Slice off the skin (leave skin on if using delicata) and cube.
  2. In a large soup pot, bring the vegetable broth and coconut milk to a gentle boil over medium high heat then reduce to a very low simmer.
  3. Slice the lemongrass in half lengthwise and bruise with the back of a measuring cup. Add the lemongrass, galangal, crushed red pepper, lime leaves, and brown sugar to the pot and stir; simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and tofu, simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, and basil. Remove from heat. Serve hot and topped with cilantro.

Yield: 4

Produce On Parade- Pumpkin Tom Kha (Coconut Lemongrass Soup) - This soup is inspired by the Lao Pumpkin and Coconut Tom Kha at my favorite local restaurant, Pho Lena, in Anchorage. It’s basically Tom Kha Gai without the chicken and with pumpkin instead. I add tofu for a protein boost! In Alaska, it can be difficult to find some of the very specific ingredients for Tom Kha so I’ve included commonplace substitutions. I have to use ginger, lime rind, and canned mushrooms because galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and straw mushrooms aren’t accessible. Still, the soup is absolutely divine!