Collection of 8 Pumpkin Soup and Porridge Recipes

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Enjoy these Chinese pumpkin soups and porridge.

Although pumpkin originates from the American continent, it has become popular in Asia for mainly 2 reasons.

Firstly, it is nutritious and big (so it can feed a big family). Pumpkin is packed with nutrients ranging from fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin B and C. It is known to prevent the hardening of the arteries, and is anti-inflammatory.

In recent scientific studies, pumpkin is found to have elements resembling female hormones which may be beneficial for ladies who may be undergoing menopause.

Pumpkin is not only low in sugar but also aids insulin production which means it is beneficial to diabetics.

However, it contains a high level of carotenoids so excess consumption can lead to jaundice. Did I mention that moderation is the best policy when it comes to food consumption?

Secondly, it can be prepared in a variety of ways. Roasted, stewed, baked, steamed, and simmered in soups.

Pumpkin comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. In the same way, it can be cooked in a variety of ways. Roasting seems to be quite popular as well as in pies and creamy soups. But a healthier way to consume pumpkin, in my humble opinion, is in pumpkin rice porridge or clear soup.

The Koreans have a dish called Hobakjuk (translates as pumpkin porridge) which is steamed pureed pumpkin cooked with glutinous rice flour, red beans, kidney beans and glutinous rice balls. Depending on the consistency, I would consider a pureed pumpkin soup using rice or rice flour as a thickener to be a soup rather than a porridge. Splitting hair? Perhaps. (^_ ^). In Southern China, it is often not pureed but cooked in small pieces together in rice congee.

In Southeast Asia, we seldom see the large orange variety that the Americans use to make Halloween decorations and make pumpkin pies. The most common variety seen here has green splotchy brownish skin. It is not very big but the flesh is golden and the centre packed with seeds. The flesh is also firm.

Do you know that the pumpkin vine and flowers can also be eaten?

Recipes

1. Pumpkin with fresh fish, shrimp and scallop

Ingredients

  • 500g pumpkin flesh
  • 75g fresh fish fillet
  • 75g fresh shrimp
  • 75g fresh scallop
  • 800ml fish stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Remove the pumpkin skin if necessary
  2. Cut the pumpkin into big cubes
  3. Bring the fish stock to a boil and add the pumpkin cubes
  4. Simmer the pumpkin in the stock for about 30 minutes
  5. Add the seafood and cook till they are done
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Serve

2. Summer soup with pumpkin and mung beans

Mung beans is a popular ingredient in summer dishes. It detoxifies and hydrates. Addimg pumpkin bumps up the nutrient factor for people feeling weak from the summer heat.

Ingredients

  • 50g mung beans
  • 500g pumpkin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500ml water or sufficient water to cover the pumpkin

Directions

  1. Wash and rinse the mung beans
  2. Drain and mix in the salt
  3. Let the beans stand in the salt water for 5 minutes
  4. Remove the pumpkin skin if necessary
  5. Cut the pumpkin into bite-sized cubes
  6. Bring the water to a boil
  7. Drain the mung beans and add to the boiling water. Let the beans boil for 5-6 minutes
  8. Add the pumpkin cubes
  9. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the mung beans split
  10. Season with salt before serving

3. Pumpkin soup with seaweed

This soup strengthens the liver and kidney.

Ingredients

  • 100g pumpkin
  • 10g laver seaweed (zi cai)
  • 20g dried shrimps (xia mi)
  • 1 egg
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Cooking oil
  • Cooking wine
  • Dark vinegar
  • Salt
  • 300ml water

Directions

  1. Soak the laver seaweed till soft. Drain and set aside
  2. Beat the egg in a small bowl
  3. Soak the dried shrimps in a little cooking wine
  4. Remove the pumpkin skin and cut into bite-sized cubes
  5. Heat the cooking oil in a sauce pan
  6. Add the dark soy sauce and fry quickly
  7. Add the 300ml water, the dried shrimps and pumpkin cubes
  8. Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes
  9. Add the seaweed and simmer for another 10 minutes
  10. Add the beaten egg and remove from the heat
  11. Let the residual heat cook the egg
  12. Season with some vinegar and salt to taste

4. Pumpkin soup with pig's liver

This soup recipe is supposed a good natural remedy for people with night blindness due to nutritional deficiency.

Ingredients

  • 250g pumpkin
  • 250g pig's liver
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seed oil
  • 1 litre soup stock

Directions

  1. Remove the pumpkin skin and seeds if necessary
  2. Dice the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces
  3. Rinse the liver and slice thinly
  4. Blanch the liver slices in boiling water for a minute
  5. Bring the 1 litre soup stock to a boil
  6. Add the pumpkin pieces and cook till it is soft
  7. Add the liver slices and cook for another 2-3 minutes or till the liver is cooked
  8. Season with salt and a few dashes of sesame seed oil

5. Pumpkin soup with pork ribs

This recipe is good for pregnant ladies and people recovering from illnesses.

Ingredients

  • 500g pork ribs
  • 1 kg pumpkin
  • 50g red beans (chi xiao dou)
  • 5g honey dates (mi zao)
  • 5g dried tangerine peel (chen pi)
  • Soup stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse and parboil the pork ribs
  2. Wash the pumpkin, remove the skin and seeds and cut into big chunks
  3. Wash the red beans, honey dates and tangerine peel
  4. Place all ingredients in a soup pot
  5. Add enough soup stock to cover all the ingredients
  6. Bring the soup stock to a boil before lowering the heat to a simmer
  7. Simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until the pumpkin and ribs are soft
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste

All the pumpkin soup recipes above are broths or clear soups. The next one is a creamy one.

6. Creamy pumpkin soup


This soup is made creamy with rice, not milk or cream. It is great for people with lactose-intolerance to enjoy a creamy soup.

Ingredients

  • 350g pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup of white rice
  • 1 litre soup stock
  • Salt and pepper

Equipment: handheld blender

Directions

  1. Peel and chop the onions and garlic
  2. Heat the cooking oil into a deep stock pot
  3. Add the onions and garlic and fry till soft
  4. Add the pumpkin cubes and fry for about 10-15 minutes
  5. Add the rice and stir-fry for a few minutes
  6. Add the soup stock and bring to a boil
  7. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin is soft and the rice is broken and ready for blending
  8. Blend the soup until desired creamy consistency. Do remove some pumpkin chunks if you want to have some extra bites
  9. Add salt, pepper to taste
  10. Add the pumpkin chunks back to the soup
  11. Let the soup cook for another 5 minutes on low heat

Pumpkin rice porridge

Rice congee provides carbohydrates in a form that is gentle on the stomach and is easily absorbed by the body. It is an excellent carrier for more nutritious ingredients like the sweet pumpkin.

7. Basic pumpkin congee

This is a breeze to do in a rice cooker which is what I did one lazy Saturday morning.

Ingredients

  • Half a cup of white rice
  • Half a cup of brown rice
  • 12 cups of soup stock
  • 600g pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes

Directions (for rice cooker)

  1. Place rice, pumpkin cubes and soup stock into the rice cooker and press cook
  2. Leave the cover slightly ajar to prevent any boil-over
  3. If you use a rice cooker that has a rice congee setting, you can place everything into the cooker, press the button and leave it alone to cook.

If you do not have a rice cooker, you can make everything on a stovetop using a stock pot

8. Fried pumpkin rice porridge

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cups soup stock
  • 200g pumpkin
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Directions (for rice cooker)

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes (this is optional)
  2. Place rice and soup stock into the rice cooker and press cook
  3. While the congee is cooking, wash the pumpkin and cut into bite-sized pieces
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a wok, fry the pumpkin pieces till the outside is crispy
  5. When the porridge is cooked, add the pumpkin pieces. Stir to mix the congee and pumpkin pieces
  6. Let it cook for a few more minutes
  7. Wash and chop the spring onion finely
  8. Add salt and sprinkle spring onion before serving

Happy Souping, Phoebe