Monday, June 11, 2007

Butternut-Lemongrass Soup

1 2 1/2 to 3 lb butternut squash (3 cups cooked)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, cut into small dice (1/4 cup)

1 cup cleaned and chopped leeks, white part only

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

1 14 ounce can coconut milk

4 cups Southeast Asian Stock [use veggie/chicken stock and add 1 Tb or so of grated ginger, 1 Tb soy sauce, a little lime zest, and some extra lemongrass]
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 red bell pepper (roasted or roast your own)

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup basil cut in a chiffonade [thin strips]

Cut squash in half, brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes [or microwave on high for about 15 minutes], until squash is tender. When cool enough to handle, remove the seeds from the squash and discard them. Scrape the flesh from the skin and set it aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the shallots and leeks over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until the leeks are softened but not browned. Add the garlic and lemongrass and sauté an additional few minutes.

Add the squash, sweet potato, coconut milk, and stock and cover. Bring to boil, lower heat, add the salt, and simmer about 15 minutes, partially covered, until the sweet potato is soft.

Meanwhile, roast the bell pepper. When skin is charred place on plate with inverted bowl over it to sweat for 15-20 minutes. Discard the skin, stem, and seeds and chop the flesh into 1/4 inch squares.

Puree the soup in blender or with an immersion blender [I have skipped this step and it is still tasty just not as smooth]. Add the black pepper to taste and the lime juice. Adjust salt to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the red pepper squares and basil chiffonade.

Source: The Voluptuous Vegan

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