Thanks to the wonderful and foolproof Delia Smith for this refreshing, zingy soup for those hot summer evenings.
Delicious before a dinner even in a soup shooter. it’s even nicer when the soup and the bowls or shooters are chilled when serving.
4 thick stems lemongrass
2oz fresh cilantro leaves
5 green onions, finely chopped
2 oz butter
2 medium onions
10 oz new potatoes, scraped and chopped small
5 fl oz whole milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Firstly, strip the cilantro leaves from the stalks and reserve both the leaves and the stalks.
Lemongrass is dealt in exactly the same way as leeks; trim the root and the tough top away, leaving 6 inches of stem, remove the outer skin and chop quite finely. Then do the same to the green onions.
Gather up all the trimmings from both, wash them and put them into a saucepan together with the cilantro stalks, some salt and 1 1/2 pints water and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes to make a stock.
To make the soup, melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the chopped lemongrass, onions (reserve the green onions until later) and potatoes and keeping the heat low, let the vegetables sweat gently, covered for about 10 minutes.
After that, pour in the stock through a strainer, discard the debris from the strainer and add the milk and about 3/4 of the cilantro leaves.
Season with salt and pepper, bring the soup up to a simmering point and simmer very gently for about 25 minutes.
Allow the soup to cool a little before pouring it into a food processor or blender, puree it, then pour it through a strainer into a bowl.
When it’s cold, cover and chill thoroughly until you’re ready to serve it.
Serve in chilled bowls or soup shooters.
You can add an ice cube to each bowl if you like and sprinkle in the rest of the finely chopped cilantro and the green onions as a garnish. FYI, in my picture there is no garnish other than a blob of whipped sour cream and a mini basil leaf which is also nice, but more minimalist.
Make sure you serve this soup chilled!