Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Red Curry Coconut Soup

I don't know about you but everytime I've purchased a soup at the supermarket that's in those plastic containers I am sooo disappointed. The vegetables are always overcooked and mushy and the broth is just one note of flavor. And have you ever looked at the sodium content? OMG - Don't get me started...
Now I have been told that I am hard to please a bit of a food snob, but I believe that if you can make it better yourself and make it great what's the point in paying for crappy food. Soup is one of those meals that is so easy to put together at the last minute and you can't beat the flavor you get by garnishing with fresh herbs. Making your own soup allows you to control the sodium content and build layers of flavors that are sure to please.
With cooler weather a nice soup in the evening is always welcome. This soup is fragrant and easy to throw together as long as you have a few essential items in your pantry on hand. Coconut Milk, Red Curry Paste, Canned Tomatoes and Vegetable or Chicken Stock. Plus I always keep on hand in the refrigerator fresh herbs whether it's fresh cilantro in a cup of water (which by the way will last a week as long as you cut the stems and put in fresh water when you get home from the grocery store) or a packet of fresh basil.
Adding fresh herbs to any dish will immediately brighten it up and make a blah dish spectacular. Cilantro is super cheap and always packs the punch!
Red Curry Paste is a combination of chili peppers, lemon grass, garlic and galanga (a root that is similar to ginger), coriander, kiffer lime and peppercorns - it can blow up the heat quickly so be sure to taste as you go so you don't over power your dish. Look for Red Curry Paste in the Asian section of the grocery store in jars. Once opened keep in the refrigerator. You can add it to sauces and stews and it will add a little kick and a great depth of flavor to a lot of dishes.
Red Curry Coconut Soup
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Small Onion, Diced
1 Tablespoon Ginger, Minced
1 Teaspoon Red Curry Paste
1 14 oz Can Fire Roasted Organic Tomatoes, Diced
4 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock (for non-vegan eaters)
6 oz White Wine
1 14 oz Can Coconut Milk
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Organic Sugar
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Fresh Basil or Cilantro, Chopped
In a medium stock pot over medium high heat, saute onions, ginger and red curry paste. Cook the onions until they are translucent approximately 5 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add the vegetable or chicken stock, white wine and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow soup to simmer on low for about 20 minutes so that the curry seasoning has a few minutes to blend with the other ingredients.
Add the sesame oil, sugar and salt. Add the chopped basil or cilantro and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
To serve splash with a dash of sesame oil and garnish with fresh basil or cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime!

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