Thai Coconut Soup

 

Thai Coconut Soup

We recently had dinner with friends, who served this delicious soup (or a very similar recipe), and inspired me to try this myself. Easy, simple, and light, this is a wonderful dish for a cold spring evening.

Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  2. 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  3. 1 stalk lemon grass, minced
  4. 2 teaspoons red curry paste (forgot this ingredient when I made this, the soup was still great!)
  5. 4 cups chicken broth
  6. 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  7. 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  8. 3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
  9. 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or any type of mushroom if you don’t have shiitake)
  10. 1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
  11. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
  12. salt to taste
  13. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Method

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute. Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice; season with salt; garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

You can serve this soup alone, or pair with jasmine rice. Serve with spring rolls or egg rolls, homemade or frozen, whatever your kitchen ambition inspires you to attempt!

You could also substitute two or three cooked, diced chicken breasts for the shrimp if you prefer.

Enjoy!

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New tastes

Rob’s sister, Angela, who lives in California, introduced me to a lovely new treat last weekend. We stopped by a boutique bakery, which is actually part of a franchise, “Nothing Bundt Cakes.” This is what happens when you live in Alaska…yummy things appear and you don’t even know you’re missing out…there are no bundt cake bakeries in Ketchikan!

So check this out: http://www.nothingbundtcakes.com/   If you’re lucky enough to live near one of these little stores, I suggest you take yourself on an outing immediately and enjoy a sample, pick up a bundtlet, or a full size cake. The texture is amazing, the flavors (both I’ve tried, so far) are luscious, and the look is fun.  The small size is perfect for sharing with one or two others, if you must. But you may want to enjoy it alone, just you and a fork. And if you don’t live in a community with one of the stores, the website offers nation-wide shipping. I know, I know…it’s just cake! But wait till you try it. Then you’ll be like me, planning your next trip while checking out the store locations.

Thank you, Angela!

The other thing I just tried that was easy and fun was a recipe for Coconut Thai soup. It was simple and delicious, and the ingredients are basic enough to be found in any market. I followed the ingredient list, but I went a bit heavy on the lime and cilantro. I also saw a version of this recipe without the curry paste, for non-curry fans.

Coconut Thai Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 stalk lemon grass, minced
2 teaspoons red curry paste
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute. Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice; season with salt; garnish with cilantro.

Here’s to a happy kitchen adventure in cold January!