Winter Squash & Tomato Laksa

1 small winter squash or pumpkin

5 small dried chiles

4 cloves garlic

4″ piece of ginger

2 stalks lemongrass

6 kaffir lime leaves

5-6 stalks cilantro

large handful cinantro leaves

vegetable oil

2 c. chicken or vegetable stock

1 3/4 c coconut milk

24 cherry or grape tomatoes

2 T. Thai fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

1/4 pound dried Asian noodles, cooked according to pkg directions

mint leaves

Peel and cut the squash or pumpkin into chunks and steam until just tender. Set aside. Put garlic, ginger, lemongrasss, lime leaves, cilantro stems, half of the cilantro leaves, and chiles in blender or food processor. Process to a smooth taste, adding a little vegetable oil if needed to smooth the mixture.

 

Place a deep pot over medium heat, add half the spice paste (reserve half for another use) and fry it, stirring to keep from scorching. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the broth with the fish sauce and lime juice. Add the chunks of pumpkin or squash and simmer til everything is heated through. Divide noodles between 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Top with cilantro and mint leaves.

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