edit: after more than two years, I am revisiting this recipe. It is a favorite of mine and I think it deserves a revival! I am amending the ingredient list, just a few tweaks here and there, making a few things easier to prep and adding a few pictures. It’s amazing after 2 full years how I can go back and make a recipe and still love it as much as I did the first time. – March 7th, 2015
This is one of my favorites. It satisfies every craving I have. Every taste bud is screaming with delight when I eat this.
It’s really simple to make and very comforting on those chilly, winter days. Or summer days if you’re weird like me and enjoy eating hot soup in the middle of summer…
You can buy veggie stock ready made to save the time but it’s really easy to make at home. Especially if you have a bunch of random veg in your fridge that you don’t know what to do with. Steep a bunch of veggies (onion, carrot, tomato, celery, garlic, etc…) in a pot of water over low-medium heat for an hour or two. Strain all that beautiful broth through some cheese cloth and there you have some fresh stock! It will keep fresh in the fridge for about 7 days.
So, now you can begin your soup prep.
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup mushrooms, shiitake, maitake, oyster or which ever you have on hand, sliced thin
- 1 medium red bell pepper sliced thin, chopped to bite size, about 3/4 cup after chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 a medium sized yellow onion, no need to chop it
- 1 stalk lemongrass (use a piece of lemon peel if you can’t find lemongrass)
- 2 or 3 knobs of fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/4 t red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 1 t brown sugar
- 1/2 a lime
- 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 c Thai basil, chopped
If you feel the need to add something else to this soup, feel free to experiment. 9 times out of 10, I add tofu. Sometimes noodles. There’s nothing wrong with making a recipe your own style. For you meat eaters – chicken is a common ingredient in this soup as well as shrimp. Try tofu instead of those! – roasted first of course.
First – using a jar or some other heavy object, pound the lemongrass stalk a few times to split it open and release the flavors. Cut the stalk down to size so it will fit in your pot.
Add broth, the onion, lemongrass, garlic and ginger to a large stock pot.
Bring your broth to a gentle boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes, covered, to allow flavors to meld together.
Strain the broth. Save the remnants for your compost. Don’t skip the straining – you do NOT want to be biting into lemongrass and big chunks of ginger.
Add the broth back into the pot and add all remaining ingredients except lime, cilantro and basil.
Let simmer over low heat for another 15 minutes, covered.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add more soy sauce if it needs more oomph or a splash more of rice vinegar.
Right before serving sprinkle fresh cilantro and basil on top and squeeze your lime.