Wednesday, January 25, 2012

recipe: spicy + sour coconut curry soup...

This is one of those feel good dishes my husband and I love. Not only feel good, but comforting as well. We've taken a huge love to all things Thai and especially love anything with the word "curry" in it. I, more specifically, have grown increasingly fond of coconut curries and hot and sour things.

Seriously. If it's got the words "spicy", "hot", "sour", "coconut", "curry", or a combination of any of those- I'm all in. I don't care what it is. My husband is always happy to climb on board with me. You'll most likely find us at our local Thai restaurant eating a huge plate of coconut curry chicken over brown rice, with a huge bowl of Tom Kha Gai on the side!

It's exactly those loves that inspired a remake of a soup I spotted in my November issue of Food Network Magazine. Featured on their site as well, their Thai Dumpling Soup had a lot of the flavors I was looking for. It was a great place to start off from!

Having a huge craving for something "spicy" and "sour" as well as for something "coconut-curry" based, I decided to try this soup, but add my own special touches to it....actually almost completely redo it altogether! I'm going to admit- although this soup is completely easy to make, one might not have all the ingredients used on hand. I get that, I totally do. We happen to LOVE Asian cuisine, so we've literally STOCKED up our fridge and pantry with many yummy and exciting Asian condiments and ingredients.

Some things can be omitted if you'd like- for example the fish sauce. Although it'll give the soup a very distinct (AND NON FISHY I swear) flavor, you can of course leave it out. Sambal is another one- we love this stuff, but it is indeed SPICY so be careful. I mean, if you have a stuffy nose and you eat this stuff, your nose will begin clearing up type of spicy. If you're not a fan of spice go ahead and leave it out. Or if you love spice, but don't have (or want to buy) Sambal, go ahead and use Sriracha instead....I'm assuming everyone has this amazingly delicious condiment right? ..RIGHT?!!? It's amazingly-tastebudily-explosive. No joke, if you like spice- your taste buds will find a way to find me and personally thank me for introducing you to this stuff.

This soup is a great one-pot dish as well as an easy way to include a variety of veggies and good for ya stuff in one meal. Make it on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy that night. It's so easy to make, that you can of course, make during any weeknight. Oh and by the way- this tastes SO good the next make extras.

Spicy + Sour Coconut Curry Soup
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 carrot, washed and thinly sliced on the bias
  • 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or to make vegetarian- vegetable or mushroom stock)
  • 1 14ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sambal sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/3 package whole wheat spaghetti pasta, broken into 1"pieces (as best you can)
  • half a bunch of fresh asparagus, washed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 8 ounces frozen peas
  • 1 14ounce package extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup beet greens, rinsed, dried, and cut into bite sized pieces

1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the carrot and mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally 2-3 minutes. 

2. Turn your heat down to medium-low. Next add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook, stirring frequently until your curry powder has toasted a bit- 1-2 minutes.

3. Add your chicken (or vegetarian) stock, coconut milk and one cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

4. While simmering, add your fish sauce, soy sauce, sambal, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

5. Next add your broken whole wheat spaghetti pieces, asparagus, peas, tofu, spinach, and beet greens and simmer uncovered 10-15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through. Taste- may need to add more salt, if desired.

6. Serve, piping hot with lemon wedges on the side.

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