I know I'm such a nerd. But this soup is delicious to the MAX people!
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin, baked and pureed
1 sweet potato, baked
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
3 lemongrass stalks (bottom 5 inches only), coarsely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece galangal (thawed if frozen), peeled and coarsely chopped
3 to 5 fresh (1 1/2-inch) Thai chiles or 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, trimmed and coarsely chopped (seed chiles if a milder flavor is desired)
4 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
Cook onion, garlic, and ginger in 1 tablespoon oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add pumpkin and wine. Boil, uncovered, until wine is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Stir in stock and simmer, add sweet potato in chunks, covered, until pumpkinand potato is tender, about 20 minutes.
Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté lemongrass, galangal, and chiles to taste, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in lemongrass mixture, lime leaves, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk if you want.