With the Winter season in full swing, everyone is looking for the heavy, hearty, warm dishes to savor on a cold brisk evening. Folks will often say that the cold weather is the best for soup season, I respectfully disagree. I love a nice bowl of Tomato Bisque with a grilled cheese sandwich in the middle of the summer, or a bowl of Pho just because It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed one. Soup is the one thing I haven’t made yet this winter and I had a craving for something spicy, a dish with a little heat and something out of the ordinary aside from the common split pea, chicken noodle, chili and beef barley that everyone showcases this time of the year.
I opened up the pantry to dig through the dry goods and see what I could come up with. I came across two cans of Coconut Milk and said “boom, a Coconut Curry Soup!” Unfortunately the only curry I had on hand was yellow curry powder, not what I was looking for, so I made a version of Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup) instead, minus a few key ingredients because I didn’t have them on hand. Coconut milk has a thick consistency, and a rich, creamy texture. Coconut milk comes from the flesh of mature brown coconuts (not to be confused with coconut water which is found naturally in immature green coconuts). This milk is found in many cuisines around the world ie: Southeast Asian (Thai), Hawaiian, and the Caribbean.
I’ve personally always loved coconut. From the dried shavings that are in desserts, to the cream used in Pina Coladas. I know plenty of people that don’t enjoy coconut as much, but I believe it’s because they’re consuming all the wrong stuff! The battery on my Nikon died and until I replace it, I’m stuck using my camera phone for pictures, so I apologize if the photo quality isn’t the best. The pictures don’t do this soup justice! If you like heat, coconut and ginger, this soup is worth a try! The coconut milk adds a wonderful sweet balance to smooth out the spice from the chili paste.
Mise en Place:
- 2 Cans Coconut Milk (full fat, be sure it’s milk and not cream!)
- 1 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, minced
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, julienne
- 2 Cups Stock (I used homemade Chicken stock, vegetable works fine!)
- 2 Limes, juiced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 1/4 Teaspoon Chili Paste
- 6 Oz Pack Rice Noodles, prepared according to package
- 1 Small Bunch Fresh Cilantro
- S&P, TT
Method of Prep:
- In a large sauce pot over medium heat, add a tablespoon Oil and cook onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic, and fresh ginger, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in Mushrooms, season with a little salt and pepper. Stir and allow to cook for an additional two minutes.
- Pour in Stock and coconut milk, mix well. Season with more salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, add in chili paste, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir and allow to simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning if needed.
- In a serving bowl, add in 1 handful of rice noodles. Add in hot soup and garnish with cilantro.