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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thai Vegetable Soup

I came up with this once when my husband was at work, which meant I could spice it up as much as I wanted with commercially prepared Thai red chili paste. He has acclimated to mild heat over the years, and I now have a little less tolerance. Marriage thrives on compromise, right?

I love Thai food and have from my first taste of it at Akron's now-defunct Bangkok Gourmet restaurant. The Highland Square spot was so popular, a line would snake out the door. You could feel hungry eyes on you (or maybe your food) if you were lucky enough to get there before the crowd.

I sometimes say I would be happy living on Thai and Indian dishes. Seriously, what about grilled cheese and pastitsio? BLTs and quesadillas? Lasagna and pot stickers? But I do love both cuisines.

I used what I found in the fridge and pantry (my one nephew calls the latter "the bomb shelter") and was pleased with the results.

Thai Vegetable Soup

1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste (this is fairly spicy but won't make you cry. Use more or less, to taste)
2 cans coconut milk, thicker cream separated out and reserved (light is fine, but you will have less of the thicker cream)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 sweet bell pepper or mild cubanelle, roasted and most of skin peeled off, chopped 
1 medium zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger or 1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. dried lemon grass
1 tub firm or extra firm tofu, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
Green of choice, as much as you like (I used half of a bag of a mix of cabbages, shaved Brussels sprouts and broccoli, but would use baby spinach in the future)

Have everything chopped ahead of time.
Add oil to soup pot over medium heat. Add curry paste and the reserved coconut cream and fry, stirring, for a few minutes. Stir in onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add pepper, ginger and garlic and cook for 5  minutes. Stir in broth and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. If using a hardier green, add now. Simmer till vegetables are tender. Add tofu and tender greens and heat till greens wilt.

Four or so hardy servings.

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