That ex­tra5% magic

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Lemon­grass, Kaf­fir Lime and But­ter­nut Soup with Seared Prawns

But­ter­nut is a type of squash that has a sim­i­lar taste to pump­kin. I pre­fer to use it in cook­ing be­cause I find it less stringy and wa­tery than some of the ev­ery­day pump­kin we see at Hal­loween time, but you can use ei­ther in this recipe with a sim­i­lar re­sult.

But­ter­nut is high in vi­ta­min A, which is great for our vi­sion and im­mune sys­tems. It is high in fi­bre, so good for di­ges­tive is­sues and low in calo­ries. It is a hugely ver­sa­tile veg­etable that can be roasted, toasted, mashed, pureed, casseroled, cur­ried, and even used in breads and muffins.

If you want to put in that ex­tra spe­cial ef­fort with this dish, you can use a prawn stock in­stead of the chicken/vege stock. It adds an amaz­ing depth of flavour to the dish and a tasty twist that even Si­mon Gault would call ‘‘that ex­tra 5 per cent’’.

In­gre­di­ents Soup

1 onion diced 2 cloves of gar­lic 5 kaf­fir lime leaves 2 stalks of lemon­grass bruised (bash it with knife han­dle) 50g sugar 70ml cream 1 litre of good qual­ity chicken stock (or vege stock) 1kg but­ter­nut Salt and pep­per to sea­son


24 prawns shelled ( tails on, I have used frozen) 2 cloves gar­lic 2 Tbsp olive oil


4 dried chillis thinly sliced with seeds re­moved 1 large bunch of fresh co­rian­der finely chopped 500ml cream


1. Melt the but­ter in a large pot and add onions and gar­lic. Cook for 3-4 mins on medium heat en­sur­ing you do not brown. Add in the lemon­grass and lime leaves and cook for a fur­ther 3-4 mins. 2. Add in the but­ter­nut, sugar and cook for about 10-12 mins un­til sugar is about to caramelise. 3. Pour in stock and and bring to the boil. 4. Gen­tly sim­mer un­til the but­ter­nut is soft. Re­move the lemon­grass and lime leaves. 5. Blend with a hand blender un­til smooth then add in cream and blend some more. Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per. 6. Mean­while heat half the olive oil for the prawns in a fry­ing pan to a high heat. Add in half the gar­lic and fry for 30 secs then thrown in half the prawns and sear for 30 secs-1 min on each side. Place to the side and do the sec­ond batch of prawns. En­sure you do not over­cook. 7. Pour the blended soup into wide bowls, place 4 prawns each per plate in the mid­dle of the soup. Gar­nish with cream, dried chilli and co­rian­der and serve im­me­di­ately. Serves 6

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