Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Coconut Soup with Pistachio Pesto

Recipe from Tiny Kitchen Feast published by Hardie Grant Explore

This recipe came about when my wife, Abigail, and I were creating pop-up oceanside restaurant menus in Mexico. We constructed a nice firepit and seating area outside our campers and built the menus each week based on fusion cuisine cantered around Mexican food. This was part of our Indian-Mexican fusion menu. I wanted a light and delicate but flavoursome soup to start the multi-course meal. The coconut milk is subtle and the pesto gives the soup a slight brightness. I love this dish. It’s simple.

I recommend toasting some naan bread or pita to dip into the soup. Note that, because of the simplicity of this soup, it’s important to get the salt/sweet balance right. Salt a little, add some agave, and taste.


› 3 garlic cloves, minced
›  3 cm knob of fresh ginger, grated
›  1 tbsp butter
›  2 cans full-fat coconut milk*
›  ¼ tsp ground cardamom
›  1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, roasted, deseeded, and minced (optional but recommended)
›  1-2 tbsps agave


›  ¹⁄3 cup shelled pistachios plus extra chopped pistachios, to garnish
›  2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
›  3 cups fresh basil
›  ¼ cup green olives
›  ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

*If you’re up for it, using fresh coconut is ideal here. While breaking a coconut open can be tricky, if you do, scrape out the flesh and blend with water in a blender. Strain this liquid through cheesecloth to get coconut milk and continue through the steps of this recipe. Then you can serve the soup in the shell!


Sauté the garlic and ginger with the butter in a medium pot. Cook over a medium heat until the garlic and ginger are fragrant and becoming tender.

Add the coconut milk and cardamom and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Toss in the roasted chili pepper of your choice, along with the agave.
For the pesto, pulse all the ingredients (except the oil) in a food processor or blender. (If using a blender, add half the oil to get it started.) Blend for 1 minute.

Switch the food processor/blender to low and slowly drizzle in the oil until combined. Taste for salt.


Serve the soup topped with pesto and some extra chopped pistachios.

Serves 2-4

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