Spicy Shrimp and Lemongrass Soup

My friend Bettina is a foodist. Much more than I am. Therefore, I love to get tips and suggestions on restaurants, recipes and even our blog from her. This recipe lingered in my recipe box for a while until I found the inspiration to try it. And we loved it. Quite frankly, the only time I buy shrimp is for this soup or when the kids are begging for Vietnamese spring rolls. More on how to buy shrimp here. Let us know what you think of the soup.

Ingredients:
1 medium sized potato
1 shallot
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
6 lemongrass stalks
2 tablespoons high-heat oil such as organic sunflower oil (or butter)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 pound large shrimp
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Mince potato, shallots and ginger. Finely slice chili and cut and bruise lemongrass talks.
Using a heavy-set pan, sauté potatoes, shallots, ginger and lemongrass in 1 tablespoon oil. Add wine and let thicken.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over small heat for 10 minutes.
Peel and devein shrimp and chop into large pieces. Chop parsley.
Using another pan, briefly sauté the shrimp and parsley in the remaining oil.
Remove lemongrass stalks from soup.
Add coconut milk and puree with a hand blender, or in the counter-top blender (with care, the steam from the hot soup has a tendency to pop out of the blender).
Bring the soup back to heat, add shrimp and parsley and ad salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves.

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