Ginger, coconut and lemongrass soup

Vegetarian matzo ball soup

When I hiked in the steamy hot mountains of Fiji, the path was lined with wild lemongrass. It is available in some supermarkets and Asian markets. The aroma and flavor that lemongrass contributes make it worth a special trip.

1 tablespoon canola oil

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 russet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 stalk lemongrass, bottom 6 inches peeled, pounded, and cut into 3-inch lengths

One 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk

1 green onion (both white and green parts), finely chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons white miso

Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the vegetable stock, potato, and lemongrass. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until the potato is very tender, about 8 minutes. Remove the lemongrass and discard.

Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the soup into the pan. Whisk together ½ cup of the soup and the miso in a small bowl; add to the soup. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the garnish, and heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. (Don’t let the soup come to a boil.)

Advance preparation

This soup will keep for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.