Two weeks ago when the warm weather started to grace us with its presence Dino and I took a drive up to Rhinebeck, New York. We walked around the shops, toured the Vanderbilt Estate and ate lunch at a funky cool restaurant in a converted Baptist church called Terrapin. Once we started eating we realized where there was such a crowd midday on Sunday. I ordered a cup of Butternut Lemongrass Coconut soup and it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It was sweet AND salty, creamy but smooth and completely infused with the Asian flavors that have become my favorite cuisine. Since I couldn’t stop thinking about this soup, I made my own attempt–and I must say, I’m quite impressed with my own palette for being able to create a close second!
Here’s what I did–and notice, there are no measurements listed because I do NOT ever measure.
The night before I cut my squash in half and roasted it at 350 degrees drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Next day, I fleshed the squash into the food processor with a whole can of lite coconut milk until it was nice and smooth.
In a pot over medium heat I melted a good chunk of butter and a good chunk of brown sugar–“good chunk” meaning about two tablespoons of each. I threw in about one stalk of very finely chopped lemongrass and added my squash puree. I thinned it down to the desired consistency with chicken stock–use vegetable stock for vegatarian or vegan take–kill the butter for vegan.
Once the soup came to a simmer the fun begins and I start adding ingredients at random. I put about one teaspoon of fish sauce–use this sparingly as it can be overpowering. One spoonful of Thai chili paste–more if you like it spicy. A drizzle of sesame oil and a good sprinkle of curry powder. I didn’t have any, but I think a bit of grated ginger would be really nice. Add salt and pepper, of course, to taste.
One squash didn’t make a ton of soup, but enough for about 3-4 appropriate servings. It’s going to be my lunch today and I’ve been thinking about it since breakfast!