Whew! This weekend alone I racked up 3 posts for the blog, including the world’s easiest rhubarb jam. But first I want to make up for the ho hum soup I told you about last week. I almost didn’t post it but I was scraping the bottom of the barrel and still trying to maintain my 2 posts per week goal. This new soup with its layered flavors and simple preparation is totally worth your time.
Soups are intrinsically built to be cooked for several hours, kind of like chili… and we all know how that works out when a shortcut is taken. So 30-minute versions are hard to pull off. Most of them lack the depth of flavor you get from slow cooking. Not this. This is the soup of my dreams – fast, simple and totally interesting.
I made a few tweaks from the original, like omitting the chicken to make this more of a side dish. I also cut the lemon grass because I can never find it when I need it. Maybe it’s a Midwest problem? I’ve literally never cooked with it. A bit of lemon juice does the trick most times. And the only thing I’ll do differently next time is look for more veggies to toss in the mix, so feel free to experiment. And if you’re a little squeamish about coconut milk, don’t skip this recipe. Hubster liked it and coconut is not his favorite flavor.
That’s all for today. I may break my average and post 3 times this week. I’m worried if I withhold the rhubarb jam from you for too long that we won’t be friends once you’ve had a chance to make it. Friends don’t let friends miss out on rhubarb jam… or something like that.
Spicy Thai Coconut Soup
Slightly modified from Cooking Light’s recipe
4 oz. mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
2 tsp (about 1 inch) fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp canola oil
1 green onion
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 tsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
1 ½ cups chicken broth
¾ cup light coconut milk
2 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
Clean and slice mushrooms. Chop half of the red bell pepper to get ½ cup, reserving remaining strips for another use. Peel and mince ginger. Mince garlic. Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add the oil, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the mushrooms, pepper, ginger and garlic for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, juice the lime to get 1 tablespoon of juice and set aside. Juice the lemon to get 3 tablespoons of juice. Thinly slice the green onion and mince the cilantro.
Add the chile paste to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Divide the soup into two bowls and garnish with the lime juice, green onion and cilantro.