Sometimes a taste can get stuck in your mouth in the same way a song can get stuck in your head. When the hankering for that taste keeps popping up, you can’t feel satisfied until you get yourself some of whatever it is that’s haunting you.
So it was with me and Thai soup with coconut milk recently. That was what I was hungry for so I had to try cooking some. We are trying to lighten up our meals this summer by including more vegetarian choices, so I did a web search for “Thai vegetarian coconut soup” and found this recipe, which I used as an outline. I scanned what I had on hand and what I could use from our garden, which included kale, broccoli, lemon balm and basil– more than I would have guessed– and I was good to go.
Here’s the recipe I made. My apologies to anyone of Thai descent or with the slightest experience with Thai cooking. With all of my substitutions, I really don’t have the right to use the “Thai” adjective on this recipe. I considered adding “Faux” or “Mock” but that’s just dumb. But Thai or no, this delicious soup satisfied my craving.
Thai Vegetarian Soup with Coconut Milk
* 6 cups homemade strong-flavored stock
* 6 lemon balm leaves, chiffonaded
* 2 tsp. chili sauce
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tb freshly grated ginger
* 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 2 cups kale, chopped
* 2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
* 2 tomatoes, chopped
* 1 can light coconut milk
* 1 tsp. brown sugar
* 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 1-2 cups soft tofu, sliced into cubes
* 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1. Pour stock into a soup pot. Add the lemon balm, chili, garlic, and ginger. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, or until broth is very fragrant.
2. Add the mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
3. Add the kale, broccoli and tomatoes. Gently simmer 1-2 more minutes (kale should remain on the crisp side).
4. Reduce heat to low and add the coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice. Finally, add the soft tofu and gently stir.
5. Do a taste-test. Add more chili sauce if not spicy enough. If not salty enough, add more soy sauce or a little more stock cube/powder or salt. Add 1 more tsp. sugar if too sour. If too salty or sweet, add another squeeze of lime juice.
6. Serve soup in bowls with fresh basil sprinkled over. Enjoy!