The bookery Cook

SO MY European adventure is coming to an end as you read this.

I'm nearly back in Australia and I'll be back in the kitchen from next week.

Until then, though, I am lucky enough to have another offering from The Bookery Cook.

Last week I wrote about randomly meeting Jessie Thompson on a Brisbane street, my friend moving in with her and the ritual of going around to their house to eat.

I don't think we had any ideas back that where we would end (beyond the following weekend anyway). I didn't imagine I would be writing about food for newspapers and I'm not sure Jessie knew she would one day write a book.

I was always a bit in awe of Jessie's quirky and creative personality and I am not at all surprised that she and her sisters Maxine and Georgia have come out with a cookbook of a different kind.

You see, it's not just about the food. They have enlisted a number of artists to create images to go with the recipes, using their own interpretations based on the recipes.

Pretty cool huh?

Jessie, Maxine and Georgia say:

Pumpkin soup is a staple in any home, as it's quick to make, economical with the abundance of pumpkins around in winter, and good to feed a crowd or freeze for an easy mid-week dinner.

We starting making this soup when we were living together in a share house in Brisbane. We often needed to feed a crowd and wanted a change from the traditional pumpkin soup ingredients of cream and nutmeg, so instead this version uses the fresh and vibrant flavours of South-East Asia - red curry paste, coriander, lemon and fresh chilli.

The illustration for this recipe is done by Brisbane-based artist Warren Handley, who regularly had on this soup on our veranda in Paddington.




Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 10


  • 2 tbsp tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 3 tbsp tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1.2kg (2 lb 10 oz) pumpkin (winter squash), peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 750ml (26 fl oz/ 3 cups) vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 250ml (9 fl oz/ 1 cup) coconut milk
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream, to serve
  • 1/2 a red onion, finely chopped, to serve
  • 1 bird's eye chili, seeded and thinly sliced, to serve
  • Coriander drizzle
  • 2 tbsp tablespoons olive oil
  • 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) lemon juice
  • 25 g (1 oz/ ½ cup) finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves


To make the soup, heat the olive oil in large saucepan over medium to low heat.

Add the onion and ginger and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the red curry paste and cook for a further few minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the pumpkin, add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.

Transfer the pumpkin and stock to a blender or food processor and blend or process until smooth.

Return the soup to a clean saucepan over medium to low heat and stir in the coconut milk.

Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

To make the coriander drizzle, put the olive oil, lemon juice and coriander in a bowl and stir well to combine.

To serve, divide the soup between bowls topped with a little coriander drizzle, then garnish with the yoghurt, onion and chili.

Tip: coriander drizzle works well fish, lamb and beef.

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