Because it’s that season of the year. It’s flu and cold and SAD prompted malaises of the soul and soma alike season. I have just the thing for what may be ailing you. You’ll be glad you have this Thai coconut green curry in your repertoire of soups.
I can’t remember the first time I made this coconut curry soup. But I can say I always know when I’m coming down with a severe cold or flu. Each time I find myself stocking a grocery basket with the essentials of my restorative Thai soup, I am bedridden with a virus by dawn. I firmly believe ingesting a green curry soup before the disease takes grip shortens the duration and lessens the severity of my infirmity.
The prep time for coconut green curry soup isn’t especially short. Neither is it especially rigorous or rushed. If you’re willing to use frozen veggies or box stock, nearly all the arduous preparations are neatly disappeared–and you’ll still have a delicious finished product.
With the addition of either rice or bean noodles to your soup bowl, you have a hearty meal to warm the cockles of a small crowd’s heart.
Thai Coconut Green Curry Soup
For the stock:
1 onion peeled, halved
1 leek, or the greens of several, well washed
1 bulb garlic
2 shallots, peeled
1/4 lb of shiitake or cremini mushrooms, stems and peels–the caps are for the soup
1 celery stalk, scrubbed and halved
1 large carrot, scrubbed and halved
2″ ginger cut in chunks
1 star anise or 1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 medium-hot dried pepper
10 whole black peppercorns
For the soup:
2 TBSP sesame oil
1 tsp (hot) dark sesame oil
5 whites of green onions, cut in thin strips
1 carrot, julienned (cut into matchsticks)
1 1/2″ ginger, grated
(1 TBSP Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce, optional or to taste)
(1 tsp Sriracha, optional or to taste)
2 tsp Thai green curry paste–I get Thai Kitchen, in natural food stores or the ‘Asian’ section of better grocery stores
3 large or 5 small shallots peeled and cut in thin strips
4 fat or 7 regular cloves of garlic, minced into a paste with 1/2 tsp salt
the mushroom caps from above, sliced thinly
1/2 large red bell pepper, or 1 small, or 5 cherry bombs, seeded and deveined and cut into matchsticks (julienned)
1/4 lb green beans or snow peas or green peas–topped and tailed and 2″ long if green beans, strung and sliced on the diagonal once across if snow peas, frozen if green peas
1 yellow or patty pan or crookneck summer squash, seeds scooped out and cut thinly into half moons, or 2 handfuls of frozen corn, or a cup of frozen baby corn
1 box of silken extra firm tofu cut into chunks
1 can light coconut milk
4 cups of the stock above
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1 TBSP white miso
5 green onion tops, sliced thinly on the bias
I small handful of basil leaves, chiffonaded (sliced very thinly indeed)
2 limes, bar cut (slice the top and bottom off each lime, wedge them, slice the white pithed front off each wedge–voilà)
In a 3 or 4 quart sauce pan, cover the stock fixings with 5-6 cups of water. Bring this to a simmer and let it cook gently as you prepare the rest of the veggies (or buy a box of vegetable stock and combine it with a box of mushroom stock).
In a heavy bottomed, wide pan which holds 3 quarts minimum, heat the oils over medium high flame. Add the green onion whites and the carrots and cook one minute. Now add the aromatics through the garlic and cook for another minute. Put in the mushrooms and give them a minute. Don’t forget to stir this as you go. Add the bell pepper and green beans/snow peas/frozen green peas next. Next comes the squash or corn along with the tofu cubes (or get a bag of mixed Asian Vegetables from your freezer section and use that in place of the carrots, peppers, beans/&tc, squash/corn). Give this a couple of minutes, let it sizzle–but stir it enough that it doesn’t burn.
Add the liquids, bring the soup to a simmer and let it simmer 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat, pour a small amount of the soup into a cup and stir the miso into it. Add this cup back to the general broth. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle some of the green onion tops, basil chiffonade, and lime juice–with an extra wedge or two tucked on the bowl’s rim–on to each bowl. Serve immediately.