After the celebrations of the holidays, and the holiday foods that go with them, January feels like somewhat of a let down. Winter has set in for good and the farmers’ markets, (if you’re lucky enough to have one that operates year round), will for the next few months have little produce-wise other than apples, potatoes, onions, root vegetables and greenhouse greens – at least that’s the case in the northeast.
Still, January does have the the last flings of fall with squash and sweet potatoes. Snatch them up while they’re still here! Of course, you may be tired of these epitomes of fall, so here’s a different take on squash soup. No nutmeg. Not even the slightest hint of Thanksgiving. Instead ginger and lemongrass, coconut milk and lime. The bright refreshing flavors of southeast-asia that are warming and bright, to counteract the grey outside.
Ginger Lemongrass Squash Soup – 4-6 servings
- 1 stem lemongrass
- 2 inches ginger
- 4 ½ cups cubed squash (kaboka or other sweet squash, buttercup, kuri etc.)
- ½ cup sliced carrots
- 1 can coconut milk
- broth to 3 total cups liquid
- 1 splash fish sauce
- 2 Tbs cilantro (Optional)
- lime wedges (Optional)
- Trim squash and carrots and cube/slice. Heat 3/4″ inch water in a medium sauce pan with 1″ ginger thinly sliced and half the stem of lemon grass. Add steamer basket and steam squash and carrots over low to medium heat until very soft, 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat coconut milk with enough broth to make three cups of liquid. Add remaining ginger and lemongrass, thinly sliced. Add a splash of fish sauce. Let steep over lowest heat while squash steams.
- When done, remove squash and reserve steaming liquid. Return squash to sauce pan. Pour coconut milk mixture through a seive over the squash and puree thoroughly. If too thick, add small amounts of steaming liquid until you like the consistency.
- Reheat to almost boiling and serve garnished with cilantro and a lime wedge.
My pictures show the soup garnished with peanuts, which make a lovely addition, but I didn’t think the flavor added that much. The crunch, however, was a nice addition. Also on the plate are some scallion (and kale, sshhhh, don’t tell Luis) pancakes, based on a recipe from Eating Well (unfortunately, they seem to have lost the recipe online…I may post it later). Enjoy.