Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thai Red Curry Soup


So you tried the recipe from the Chicken Pozole Rojo post and, just as I suspected,  you loved it. 

What now?  You want more of these spicy, hearty meal-in-a-bowl soups?  Yes, yes, I know it's officially Spring and still freezing in Chicago.  That makes sense.  You're on a vegan-paleo-gf diet?  Since when?  Is that even possible?  No, I haven't seen that documentary exposé about the cavemen who ate only wooly mammoth and chia seeds.  No, no, its not problem.  Really, I can make it work.  Yes, of course, it will use all those vegetables sitting around in your fridge.  Sure, any will probably work just fine.  Run out of chili pastes?  Ha, me?  Never. 

Alright: Thai Red Curry

Thought a recipe like this would be laborious and time-consuming since the flavors seem so developed and layered.  Turns out, pairing a good spice combination with something sweet and milky kind of opens up the spectrum of flavors throughout the dish.  The only hard thing about the recipe is deciding from your fridge won't make it into the pot (sorry spinach and carrots, you didn't make the cut).

Ingredients (makes 4-5 servings):
  • 3 heads of baby bok choy, rough chop
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup green beans, large chop
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 4 tbsp. basil, rough chop
  • 1/2 cup, or small can, bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp. thai chili paste (or any sweet chili paste)
  • 3 tbsp. hot chili paste (like sriracha)
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 cans unsweetened, light coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped scallions
  • thinly sliced red pepper (save some from the pepper above)
  • lime wedge
  • jalapeno slices

Chop up all the major ingredients to be added to the soup, including the: bok choy, broccoli, green beans, and jalapeno.
Now, to make the curry paste.  Place the onion, red pepper (leaving a bit for garnish), garlic, and half of the basil in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add the chili pastes, garam masala, curry, and turmeric and stir well. 
In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp. oil (chili, sesame, or peanut would be ideal) and add the curry paste.  Allow to bubble before adding half the jalapeno slices.  After a minute, add the vegetables so that he longest-cooking vegetables go in first and get to soften for a few minutes before adding the next.  For my recipe, that meant the broccoli, green beans/peas, then bok choy.  If seeming a little dry, add a little stock.
Once the vegetables are softened, add the coconut milk, stock, lime juice, and bamboo shoots.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the remaining basil last.
Garnish with cilantro, jalapeno, scallions, red pepper, and lime.


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