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Schwe payon hinjo

(Burmese pumpkin soup with Thai basil)

Really a lovely "sweet" Burmese soup--fragrant, spicy, and with an even balance between light and filling. Will go well with a sandwich for lunch--or stimulate an appetite for a cold supper in the summer or a sustaining supper in the winter. Or you can go traditional and serve it simultaneously with other Burmese dishes, where it will play the role of beverage. Serve warm to 4 people as a course.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan, then lightly saute the garlic for 3-5 minutes, until it is fragrant. Add the cubed pumpkin and stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, until pumpkin is tender. Puree in a blender, solids first, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, stir in finely sliced basil and ladle into bowls.