This is a recipe that I developed for the Cafe that I am doing this weekend for Brattleboro West Arts Group of which I am am member. I wanted something vegan to go with the other items on the menu.
1 dried Thai red chili , seeds removed, or not if you like it spicy
3 lbs Kabocha squash, half inch chop
.5 lb butternut squash, half inch chop
1 lb carrots, sliced
.25 cup oil ( I use a mix of olive and canola )
1 lb onions, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 stalk of lemon grass, sliced
1 oz fresh ginger, chopped
2 cans of coconut milk plus 2 cans of water
1 Tbs vegetarian vegetable bouillon
3 cups of water
1.5 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Chop, dice and mince vegetables.
In a large soup pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring until starting to brown. Add the garlic and celery along with the hot chili broken into pieces, ginger and lemon grass. Stir and cook for a few more minutes. Add the squashes and carrots. Lower the heat. Cover the pot with a piece of waxed paper and put the lid on top. Let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes. Stirring regularly. This intensifies the flavor.
Lift the lid and remove the waxed paper. Add the coconut milk, vegetable bouillon, all the water.
Cover and continue cooking until all of the vegetables are very soft.
If there are stringy pieces of lemon grass remove them from the pot. If you do not want it hot, pick out the Thai Chili.
Let cool a bit. Season with salt and pepper. Puree with an immersion coil.
If you are using a cuisinart let it cool a lot first as they can explode with too much liquid or if it is too hot.
Makes approximately 16 cups
You can substitute Thai Red Chili Paste for the whole chili. Watch the heat level.