Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winters in the Dominican Republic inspiring a Hearty Pumpkin Coconut Milk Chicken Soup

The seasons are changing and the cold weather is slowly easing in. I am craving soups, stews and roasts more than ever now. I guess there is a comfort food for every season. Last year I spent ten month with my family in the Dominican Republic where tropical produce is abundant but variation is not. Many local ingredients I had not added to my usual dishes before. 

As I am half syro-lebanese I tend to favor foods that have species, herbs, lamb, yoghurt, nuts, etc. Coconut is only meant for dessert in my part of the world. So spending almost a year among the coconut palm trees and pineapple plants encouraged me to create savory as well as sweet dishes inspires by my surroundings. I have to tell you, I became quite creative. I was kind of limited in the village of Las Terrenas where we were living. I remember buying legumes I had not seen before. I will be posting more recipes I had made or created in the DR.

Most of the year you can buy auyama “slices” at local fruits & vegetables stales. At first I had no clue what auyama was. But being very curious, I bought a slice. I later on was told auyama was the local appellation for pumpkin. Being sold only in sliceform, I could not recognize the pumpkin.  So the auyama/pumpkin slice stayed in my fridge for 4 days before I decided to use it in a hearty soup dish. On hand I had chicken pieces, coconut milk and fresh coconut flesh, some local cilantro (called cilantro cimaron or cilantro ancho), potatoes and some garlic.

All these yummy ingredients came together beautifully and the hero of the dish was the pumpkin. Who would have thought a slice of pumpkin miles away from home would inspire me to create such a tasty soup. Maybe it is the sea and palm trees, maybe it was my mood, but I think it was definitely the warmth of the Dominican people who inspired me and encouraged me to try new produce.

We enjoyed the soup so much that I made it several times that winter and this autumn I made it again using squash. It is an easy and delicious dish. Hearty and creamy, perfect for colder days. All ingredients can be found at your local stores. You can substitute the cilantro cimaron by regular cilantro. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Coconut Milk Chicken Soup
Soup for 4-6 people
Style of dish: Main dish
Serve with steamed white basmati; jasmine rice or coconut rice
Note: Gluten free; Dairy free

1/4 of a regular size pumpkin cut in cubes (you can use any other squash you prefer)
1 tbsp Coconut or canola oil
1 whole chicken (skin and fat removed) 8-piece cut
2 bunches of fresh cilantro (or 3 leafs of cilantro ancho) chopped
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of chicken stock (homemade or good store brand)
3-4 potatoes skinned and sliced
2 cloves of garlic sliced finely
Salt to taste

Heat a regular size pot and add the coconut oil. When it starts to sizzle add the pumpkin cubes and stir till they start to caramelize a bit. Don't overcook the pumpkin. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 sec then pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock. Let it cook for 5 min then add the potato slices and chicken piece to your pot. If using the cilantro ancho cimaron add the leafs at this point. If using the regular cilantro it is preferable to add them in the end to keep their fresh crisp taste. Let your soup simmer on low heat for about 20 more minutes or till the chicken and potatoes are soft. Some of your pumpkin would have dissolved. Don't worry, it is here for the taste and to add some color.

Buen Provecho my friends. Bonne Appétit. Sahten!


Le coin Français:
Utiliser l’utile translate de Google sur mon site pour la traduire le reste du texte. Un outil facile et pratique. Merci de me lire.

Soupe de poulet au lait de coco et citrouille
Soupe pour 4-6 personnes
Style de plat: Plat principal
Servir avec du riz basmati cuit à la vapeur blanc ou riz au jasmin ou riz à la noix de coco
Remarque: Sans gluten, sans produits laitiers

1/4 d'une citrouille coupé en cubes (vous pouvez utiliser n'importe quelle courge d’hiver de votre choix)
1 cuillère à soupe de l'huile de noix de coco ou de canola
1 poulet entier (ôter peau et graisse) coupé en 8 morceaux
2 bouquets de coriandre fraîche (ou 3 feuilles de coriandre ancho) haché
1 tasse de lait de coco
1 tasse de bouillon de poulet
3 - 4 pommes de terre pelées et tranchées
2 gousses d'ail finement émincé
Sel au goût

Chauffer une casserole de taille normale et ajouter l'huile de noix de coco. Quand l’huile commence à crépiter ajouter les cubes de citrouille et remuer jusqu'à ce qu'ils commencent à caraméliser un peu. Ne pas trop cuire la citrouille. Ajouter l'ail et cuire encore 30 secondes puis versez le lait de coco et le bouillon de poulet. Laissez cuire pendant 5 min, puis ajouter les pommes de terre et les morceaux de poulet à votre casserole. Si vous utilisez la coriandre ancho/cimaron ajouter les feuilles à ce stade. Si vous utilisez la coriandre régulière, il est préférable de l’ajouter à la fin pour garder son  goût frais et sa texture. Laissez mijoter la soupe à feu doux pendant environ 20 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que plus le poulet et les pommes de terre soient tendres. Plusieurs morceaux de citrouille serait dissous mais ne vous inquiétez pas, la citrouille est là pour le goût et pour ajouter un peu de couleur.

Buen provecho mes amis. Bonne Appétit. Sahten!


  1. Lovely post! Your soup sounds really good, its pumpkin season here so I am going to make your soup soon! Fabulous photos!

    1. Hope you enjoy the soup Jayne. Thank you for your nice comment. I will be posting more yummy recipes soon. So make sure you follow the blog. Have a great week-end.

  2. This soup sounds delicious - thank you for the recipe! I love all the pictures and how you paint a story around the food. Great job!

    1. You are most welcome. Thank you for your kind words. Have a great week-end!


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