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Thai Shrimp and Squash Soup

Thai Shrimp and Squash Soup
An aromatic herb used throughout Southeast Asia, lemongrass resembles a green onion in shape and has long, thin, gray-green leaves. Kaffir lime leaves, from the Kaffir lime tree, have a distinctive shape: They are attached in pairs, end to end. Both of these ingredients can be found in well-stocked supermarkets or Asian markets.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 Tbs. finely minced garlic
  • 3 tsp. Thai curry powder
  • 3 tsp. Chinese ginger powder or regular ground
      ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 serrano chili, seeded
  • 2 pieces lemongrass, each about 3 inches long,
      lightly bruised in a mortar with a pestle
  • 1 Kaffir lime leaf (optional)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into
      1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into
      1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Thai or regular basil, cut into thin strips, for
      garnish
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, ginger powder, turmeric, chili, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaf and cook, stirring frequently so the ingredients do not burn, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and fish sauce, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the butternut squash, cover and cook until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the coconut milk and green beans, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the chili, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaf and discard. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with basil and lime wedges. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

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