Friday, November 27, 2015

Brave New Swirled Soup {Page to Plate Thanksgiving}

A twist on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, my planned 'Brave New Swirled Soup' - 'Pumpkin, Corn, and Lemongrass Soup with a Swirl of Crème Fraîche' became 'Pumpkin, Corn, and Lemongrass Soup with a Swirl of Plain Yogurt' after I sent the crème fraîche over to my parents with the boys a day early. The boys spread it on their bagels for lunch! Oye. The plain yogurt worked out fine...and makes for a silly story.

Brave New World's title comes from William Shakespeare's The Tempest. In Act V, Scene I, Miranda exclaims:

O wonder!
How many godly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.

The irony: Miranda, who was raised on an isolated island, is praising men not acting in godly manner at all. Huxley uses the same irony when the "savage" John refers to what he sees as a "brave new world."

It's been a long time since I've picked up either of those books. I might have to revisit them soon.

Brave New Swirled Soup

This pumpkin soup has a Southeast Asian flair with the addition of coconut cream, fresh lemongrass, and Kaffir limes. Click to read about Kaffir limes.

  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3" segment of lemongrass, quartered and thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 2 small pumpkins or squash (I used kabocha)
  • 2 C carrots, sliced into thick coins
  • 2 C roasted corn kernels
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 1 T ginger syrup
  • 1 C coconut milk
  • 1/2 C coconut cream
  • freshly ground pepper
  • freshly ground salt
  • ground allspice
  • ground cumin
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground turmeric
  • ground smoked paprika
  • zest from 1 Kaffir lime, to garnish
  • thinly sliced Kaffir lime leaves, to garnish
  • plain yogurt, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice pumpkins in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the halves with olive oil and lay them, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast them till they are soft to the touch; the length of time depends on the size of the pumpkins. Mine took about 75 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to touch.

Scoop out the puree and set aside.

Saute leeks and lemongrass in a splash of olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the pumpkin puree, carrots, corn, and stock. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Add the coconut milk and ginger syrup. Simmer for another 15 minutes. In batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add in coconut cream, and season to taste. Bring back up to a simmer to heat through. To serve, garnish with a swirl of plain yogurt, Kaffir lime leaves, and Kaffir lime zest.

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