8 stalks lemon grass
4 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
1.5ℓ vegetable stock
300ml coconut milk
8 spring onions, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lime
Trim the root of the lemon grass and the tip, remove the outer leaves and chop finely. Strip the coriander leaves from the stalks, reserving the stalks and the leaves.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and add the chopped lemon grass and onions.
Sweat gently for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and chilli (if using), and cook for a further three to four minutes, until fragrant.
Add the stock, coconut milk, spring onions and three quarters of the coriander leaves. Season with salt and pepper, bring the soup to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the soup into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Add the lime juice, strain through a sieve, cover and chill in the fridge.
Serve the soup with the remaining fresh coriander leaves scattered over the top, and with a dollop of plain yoghurt if desired. SERVES 4 TO 6
Food production Leila Padayachi
This recipe originally featured in the December 2012 issue of House and Leisure.