I buy fresh lemongrass from Namdhari's that comes chopped in batons and sold in plastic bags. I'm talking about the green leaves here and not the stalk that is used in Thai cooking. I keep this in the freezer once opened, and it stays for a long time. My favourite use for this is in my morning Chai. Other than this I use it in Thai curry pastes, or even just simmer in a curry and fish it out in the end for that fresh lemony flavour. I have found that Lemon Basil is a great substitute for lemongrass in tea as well as curries.
This soup is as filling and creamy as it can get, without adding even a touch of cream. You could do an oven roasted pumpkin soup, but I find the flavours very similar even with slow roasting on a stove top pan. I used the yellow pumpkin for this. You could try the same with butternut squash or the darker orange pumpkin too.
|Roasted Pumpkin Soup|
Recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger
Under 30 minutes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200 grams yellow pumpkin
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
6-7 lemon grass leaves
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 cups skimmed milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Peel and slice the pumpkin into medium sized pieces
Peel and thinly slice the onion
Slice the garlic
- In a large wok, heat the olive oil. Before oil gets hot, add the sliced garlic and onions. Saute on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the lemongrass leaves and ginger. Stir for a few seconds.
- Add the sliced pumpkin. Braise on high heat, shaking the wok every now and then until the slices get a golden brown coating.
- At this stage sprinkle sea salt and let this cook uncovered for 5 minutes on low heat.
- Add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook the pumpkin now, until it is fully done and falls apart when touched with a ladle.
- Remove to a dish and cool. Remove the lemon grass leaves from the cooked veggies and discard.
- Once cooled, remove this to a blender and blend to a smooth puree with milk.
- Get this back into a saucepan and check for seasoning. The soup will be reasonably thick and very creamy at this stage. Adjust consistency of soup using some water if required, if you prefer a thinner soup.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Top with some extra virgin olive oil. sprinkling of paprika, a tinge of grated ginger and some fresh lemongrass leaves as a garnish.
Serve with sliced toasted baguette which have been rubbed with garlic cloves, or soup sticks.
You can make this soup spicier by adding a Thai red chilli in the initial stage along with ginger and lemon grass.
You could try adding a tsp of fresh thyme leaves towards the end for a more intense flavour.
Here's a colourful guide on the different commonly available pumpkins and how to cook them.