Fasting Coconut Soup

This recipe is adapted from a favorite soup (Coconut Chicken Soup) served at Surin of Thailand, a particularly awesome restaurant. Ok, so it’s better with chicken, but it’s pretty darn good the way we make it too. (: This is a good festal or company recipe.

[Your only issue may be finding the ingredients. I managed to work around it for the most part and it still tastes authentic so substitutions seem to be ok.]

1-2         canola oil
3 T         lemongrass (I used the paste but the original recipe calls for fresh lemongrass, the
              outer sheath removed, bottom three inches trimmed and minced.“)
2 T         fresh ginger, minced (I sliced it instead so I could avoid the slices while eating.)
1            clove garlic, minced (I used pre-minced.)
2-3 t      Thai red curry paste (This is the one you may have trouble with. I used 1/2 t. red
              pepper instead.)
6 cups    vegetable stock/broth
3 T         fish sauce or soy sauce (I encourage fish sauce but don’t smell it closely…)
1 T         sugar
2 14 oz   cans coconut milk (Regular works better than lite but either will do.)
1 pkg      extra firm tofu, slice into 1inch x 1/4 inch pieces and drain
1 lg pkg  mushrooms, sliced
               juice of 2 limes

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot. Add the lemon grass, ginger and garlic and cook (stirring constantly) for about a minute. Be careful not to let the garlic burn – remove from heat temporarily if necessary. Add the curry paste (if you have it) and continue to stir for another 30 to 60 seconds.

Add about 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth to dissolve the spices and stir well. Add the rest of the broth, fish sauce and sugar (and pepper if you didn’t use curry paste) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, tofu and lime juice. Stir carefully (so you don’t demolish the tofu). Bring back to a simmer and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve immediately (but if you’re still working on dinner for the kids and it has to wait on the stove for another 20 minutes, don’t panic, just reduce the heat to very low, cover and serve it when you can.) You can garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro if you like.

(Here’s a link to a non-fasting variety. It’s incredible.)

2 thoughts on “Fasting Coconut Soup

  1. I have an easy recipe for yellow curry paste (that is likely completely interchangeable with the red at least as most Westerners are concerned). It's from the Around the World Cookbook.

    Process into a paste: 6-8 yellow chilis (I confess I completely leave out the chilis because my kids can't take the heat), 1 chopped lemongrass stalk, 4 peeled shallots, 4 garlic cloves, 1 TB peeled chopped fresh ginger, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 TB light brown sugar, and 2 TB oil into a paste. I generally freeze this into an ice cube tray and then store the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. It is so much tastier than the jarred curry sauces, and we only eat whole foods so jarred sauces almost never meet that standard.

    We have something similar in our lenten fasting file, but instead of soy (which we eat very little of for health reasons) we use a few shrimps and some cherry tomatoes. mmmmm. This is making me hungry for some Thai shrimp curry!


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