I have a love affair with Thai and Vietnamese cooking. I blame it on my dad for teaching himself to cook dishes such as spicy Thai Ginger Basil Chicken when I was a kid. Thankfully I live in an area where Thai restaurants abound and I can easily get my fix. A few years ago, I started teaching myself to cook some of my favorite dishes for a new challenge. Ok fine, I had been lazy before and decided to learn after being frustrated I couldn’t always get them when I wanted them. Like the time Katie and I tried to get pho on a Monday and the usual haunts were all closed.
Inspired by a general soup idea pin I saw last week and a recipe I found ages ago and adore (linked here http://chefmichaelsmith.com/recipe/thai-coconut-curry-soup/), I combined the two to make a vegetarian soup perfect for these cold Minnesota nights.
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium shallots, minced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp red curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen)
1 carrot, thinly sliced in rounds
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, cut in half
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
1/2 lime, zest and juice
1 can light coconut milk
16 ounces stock (I prefer low-sodium vegetable)
8 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed
Soy sauce or tamari
In a large pot, heat coconut oil and sauté shallots and garlic till soft. Add curry paste, stirring till combined and hot. Add in all remaining ingredients except tofu and garnishes. Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove lemongrass stalk pieces. Add tofu and let simmer for additional 10 minutes.
Serve as is or over rice for a heartier dish. Garnish with cilantro and a dash of soy sauce or tamari and enjoy!
- I use light coconut milk otherwise the dish gets too rich for my tastes. You can use regular just use less of it and add more stock.
- For the lemongrass, basically you want pieces you can easily remove from the broth. I usually trim the ends of the stalk and cut it into 3-4″ long pieces.
- Pressing the tofu squeezes out the moisture and let’s it absorb more flavor. Simply wrap the tofu in a clean cloth or paper towel, set between to plates and put heavy items such as canned goods on top. Let sit for about half an hour and you are ready to go!
Love and spices,