Chicken Pumpkin Lemongrass Soup

Asian-Pumpkin-Lemongrass-SoupThings to cook with pumpkin were getting boring here, so I thought an Asian flavored soup would be different. I took this ‘n that from about five recipes and came up with a pot of flavorful, thick Chicken Pumpkin Lemongrass Soup.

What gave it Asian oomph was fresh-cut lemongrass from our patio. And juice from our fresh limes. (Sounds like we’re mega-farmers but that’s pretty much all that’s consumable on our property, given how lousy the lemon tree is.)

In Vietnam, fields of lemongrass dot the countryside. Southern California is obviously not Vietnam, but I’m hoping our climate can sustain my one little lemongrass plant. I bought it online after our Vietnam trip. $9. It took a few months to sprout, and somebody should remind me to bring it indoors next summer. But, I can confirm that fresh-from-the-plant lemongrass is glorious.  And very strong, so only use one 2-inch stalk.

Chicken Pumpkin Lemongrass Soup

In a large, heavy stockpot, melt butter with olive oil.  Add onions and cook until softened. Add chicken pieces and cook until browned.  Remove chicken to a plate.  Add lemongrass, pumpkin, water, salt and 4 Tbsp. nuoc cham sauce. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 10 minutes. Remove lemongrass stalk. Using a handheld blender, puree soup to desired smoothness. Add cooked chicken back to soup and heat through. Add more nuoc cham sauce to taste. Serve topped with cilantro and green onions, drizzle with fresh lime juice to taste. Serves 6.

Fresh lemongrass plant

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erika November 6, 2009 at 4:18 am

Patti – put your lemongrass plant in the ground if you have space. I planted mine about five years ago and it is the strongest, healthiest thing in my garden. I cut it back a few times a year and freeze the stalks, and it regenerates in no time at all. (And I live just a few miles from you.)

The soup looks delicious!

2 Kelly November 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm

That’s awesome that you’re able to grow your own lemongrass. That’s certainly MUCH more interesting than the standard basil or mint. I agree that eating a lot of pumpkin can get redundant so I love the Thai twist.

3 Table Scraps November 4, 2009 at 1:59 am

Your recipe sounds delicious and very pretty. In my backyard, my “twin” lemongrass plants are monstrous. They love this Florida climate. Thanks for the recipe. I’m always looking for ways to use it.

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