Vietnamese Prawn and Pumpkin Soup

                                           Vietnamese Prawn and Pumpkin Soup

For Soup:

12-15 pcs medium-large tiger prawns
¼ to ½ pc small pumpkin, butternut or other squash
1 pc red bell pepper, sliced
2 or more heads baby bok choy, larger leaves cut in half
Handful fresh coriander/wansuy
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½-1 can thick coconut cream or milk,/kakang gata
1-2 pcs kaffir lime leaves, left whole

For yellow curry paste:

1-2 pcs yellow chillies depending on desired spice level (or substitute 1-2 green or red chillies)
1/2 stalk lemon grass, sliced finely and minced
2 pcs shallots, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pc galangal or ginger, sliced
3 tbsp patis
1 tsp regular mustard
¼ tsp nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)
1 pc kaffir lime leaf
½ tsp turmeric
1 can thick coconut milk

Cooking Procedure:

1. To make the curry paste, place all paste ingredients in a food processor (or blender). Blend well to a paste and set aside.
2. In a large soup pot, heat stock.
3. Add paste, stirring to combine. Add pumpkin or squash cubes and extra kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-high, simmering for 5-8 minutes, or until pumpkin softens.
4. Add prawns, bell pepper, and bok choy. Cover and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until prawns are bright pink.
5. Reduce heat to low. Add ½ can coconut milk and stir. Taste test for salt, adding up to 2 more tbsp fish sauce as needed (if too salty, add up to 2 tbsp lime. If too spicy, add the rest of the can of coconut milk. If not spicy enough, add another chilli, finely diced.)
6. Ladle into bowls and serve hot with fresh coriander sprinkled over. This soup may be served with rice (or rice noodles) on the side.

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