Issan Samaga Wattakka Soup (Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp)

A modern rendition of a basic vegetable and shrimp soup that goes well with any bread of your choice.

3 1/2 ounces butter
3 1/2 ounces onion, coarsely chopped
3 1/2 ounces leeks, coarsely chopped
3 1/2 ounces celery, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 ounces garlic
1/4 cup flour
10 ounces pumpkin, cubed
4 teaspoons roasted {coriander} powder
4 teaspoons roasted {cumin} powder
3 teaspoons roasted {chile powder}
6 cups chicken stock
 {salt}, to taste
 {pepper}, to taste
3/4 ounce butter
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
15  medium shrimp, shelled
4 teaspoons {sesame seeds}, roasted
3 tablespoons roasted desiccated coconut
Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the onions, leeks, celery, and garlic, and cook slowly until the juices are released. Stir in the flour until the mixture thickens slightly. Cook several minutes to a blond-brown color. Add the pumpkins, then the coriander, cumin, and chile powders. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the warm chicken stock. Stir well and bring to a boil. Add the salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes and skim the soup. Remove from heat and blend smooth.

To prepare the shrimp, heat the butter in a pan and sauté the garlic. Add the shrimp and sauté briefly until the shrimp change color, about 3 minutes. Distribute the shrimp and garlic evenly into soup bowls, add the pumpkin soup on top, and garnish with the roasted sesame seeds and desiccated coconut. Serve hot.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 40-45 min

Servings: 6

Recipe By: Douglas Bullis & Wendy Hutton

From:  The Food of Sri Lanka
Used with permission of Periplus Editions