This pumpkin soup is light, fragrant and spicy. There are lots of ways to make pumpkin soup and I came up with this new recipe from what I had available. This recipe was quite a success and there is no need for sour cream or yoghurt as it is light and slightly tangy from the lemon grass. Serve for lunch with thick slices of your favourite bread or as a starter for a Thai or Vietnamese style meal.


  • 2 lemon grass stems
  • 2 bird's eye chillies
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion finely diced
  • 3 coriander stems and leaves finely dice stems, reserve leaves for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 800 g pumpkin chopped into large chunks
  • 2 veggie bouillon cubes Rapunzel
  • 1 star anise
  • ¼ tsp citric acid optional


  1. 1 Cut away the leafy green part of the lemon grass and use bottom 1/3 of the stem. Peel tough outer layer away, finely chop the white end part only, reserving the remainder. Finely chop one of the chillies.
  2. 2 In a large saucepan on a medium heat, sauté the onion, chopped chilli, coriander stems and lemon grass in oil for 5 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute.
  3. 3 Add the pumpkin, stock cubes, 750ml of water and the lemon grass off-cuts. Simmer until pumpkin is soft – about 20 minutes.
  4. 4 After the soup has been cooking for 10 to 15 minutes, add star anise. You don't want this spice to cook in there for too long as it will dominate.
  5. 5 Remove the lemon grass ends and star anise. Allow to cool, then blend until creamy. Return soup to the saucepan to reheat and taste for seasoning. If you find it too sweet, add 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid.
  6. 6 Thin the soup out with water, enough for it to reach a pouring consistency (about one more cup). Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and finely sliced chilli; you can remove the seeds first if you don't want it to be too spicy.