Friday night when I doing photos for an underground dinner for the Reluctant Vegetarian (post with pics and menu to follow), I could feel something brewing inside me. By Saturday morning I was achy, sore throat, earache and swollen glands. Damn those fall cooties. Besides tea and bad movies, soup is what I crave when trying not to get sicker. I try to keep some staples in the place so when illness strikes any one I can whip something up without having to venture to the store. Yesterday I looked around and decided a nice spicy vegetable curry soup is what I needed. I usually crave Thom Yum or Thom Kai when ill, while other house hold members crave more traditional soups.
I perused the fridge and pantry and was glad I had recently gotten more red curry paste. I pulled together a large pot of soup which will be my main staple for the next few days. Chilis are full of vitamin C and the spice helps drain the sinuses. Beautiful thing with soup is that it is one of the most versatile dishes, so take this recipe as a guide line and I will include possible subs or add ins to each step. This also is a vegetarian/vegan recipe but easily can have meat added.
Thai Style Red Curry and Coconut Soup
2 Tbl. oil (canola, olive, coconut)
3 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 lg. yellow or white onion, hell even can use red, chopped
1 pc red pepper, chopped
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
3-4 pc plum tomatoes, chopped (any tomato)
2 Tbl. Thai red curry paste (start with one spoonful if unsure and add more later)
1 cup carrot, chopped
3 cup butternut squash, peeled and chopped (acorn, turban, red kuri)
8 cup stock or water or combo of which what I use
1 can coconut milk
1/3 pk Rice noodles (14oz size)
juice of 2 oranges
1/2 tsp thai fish sauce (omit for vegetarian)
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
In a large pot add oil and heat over medium/high. Add garlic and onions (can also add or substitute with: fresh ginger, lemongrass). Cook until onion is translucent and beginning to brown.
Add mushrooms and red pepper and cook for 2-3 min stirring occasionally. (can also add chopped chicken or other meat choice at this step as well as celery or other similar veg)
Add curry paste and stir well until all vegetables are coated. Cook for 1 minute. (if you cannot get curry paste locally you can use fresh jalapeno or even red chili flakes to give some heat.)
Add chopped tomatoes and stir, cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add carrots and squash, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes (can sub or add, summer squash, pumpkin, fresh bamboo or hearts of palm, sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes)
Add stock/water, stir well and cover. Bring to boil and reduce to low simmer for 25 minutes.
Taste for spiciness and seasoning. Add salt and pepper and more curry paste if needed.
Add coconut milk and rice noodles, cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes. (can omit coconut milk and use any noodle/rice you wish or just skip this step.)
Finish with sugar, fish sauce, orange juice and cilantro. (Obviously all this is optional I lived in Thailand so learned to appreciate fish sauce and what it can bring to the palate, I only had oranges but can use limes, lemon or grapefruit. Also basil is a great herb to use as well if you have on hand)
taste for last seasoning and enjoy!