Kabocha Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Lime Leaves
Vegetable Stock, 5 cups 1 medium kabocha squash, about 3½ pounds, cut in half, seeds removed 1 Tbsp.vegetable oil or olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped, about 2 cups Salt and pepper 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 3 stalks lemongrass, tough tops and outer leaves removed, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup 1/4 cup grated fresh ginger 1 or 2 kefir lime leaves One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk 10 to 15 Thai basil leaves, bundled and cut in thin ribbons, about 2 Tbsp.
• Preheat the oven to 400º F. • Make the stock and keep it warm over low heat. • Place the squash, cut side down, in a baking dish with a little water. Cover and roast until tender, 35 to 40 minutes. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop it out of the skin. You should have about 4 cups. • Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onions, ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, lemongrass, and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the squash, the stock, and the lime leaf and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes. • Remove the lime leaf and puree the squash mixture in a blender until smooth. Pass through a food mill and return to the pot over medium-low heat. Add the coconut milk and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with Thai basil. Makes about 2 quarts