Thai Lentil Soup with Lemongrass and Fresh Coconut

Honestly, since moving from Hawaii I have never seen lemongrass for sale in a supermarket and miss the enormous planter full of it that I use to keep on my front porch. If you can find it that’s wonderful. If not, I would say to add a bit of lemon zest at the end to give this soup a hint of lemon flavor though I am scrunching my nose as I type this at the ludicrous suggestion that there could be any substitute for lemongrass, one of my favorite things. I don’t know if there is dried lemongrass available, that also seems a ridiculous suggestion, but this soup is exotic and satisfying enough with it left out. I have also used fresh ginger to make it, omitting the dried and gently sauteeing the ginger with the onions. Either way, it was one of those unplanned throw together types of dishes that left my jaw hanging and me asking aloud, “Did I do that?”
 

 

 

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic, peeled, ends removed

1/2 c. cashews

1/4 c. golden raisins

2 tsp. dried, ground ginger

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1 c. onions, small dice

1 c. brown lentils

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1c. freshly grated coconut

1 c. sliced lemongrass

1/4 c. Peanut oil or coconut oil

Salt

Pepper

Method:

In a food processor, puree garlic, cashews, raisins, ginger, curry powder, and cardamom into a paste.

In the bottom of a large stock pot, heat oil to medium. Saute onions and lemongrass until onions are translucent. Add cashew paste and stir while continuing to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir while deglazing the bottom of the pot with stock until all the ingredients are released. Add the remaining stock, lentils, and coconut. Season lightly with salt at the beginning, middle, and end of cooking time, adjusting the amount as needed. Simmer gently for one hour. Puree in processor and strain through cheesecloth for a smooth, creamy finish. Season with pepper and serve with a plain white rice and bananas dipped in Thai Peanut Sauce.

Thai Peanut Sauce:

Brace yourselves, this is a tricky one…Take peanut butter and mix it with the hot sauce of your choice in any amounts you like. I’m sure Thai Chilli Sauce would be fabulous mixed with the peanut butter, but I’ve never bothered to try it.

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