We have had freezing cold, snowy weather in Boulder this last week and nothing warms the soul like a big bowl of soup. Which brings me to today’s recipe – Thai Coconut Soup.
Years ago my husband and I spent a month in Thailand. One of our fondest memories is of the time we spent in Chang Mai on a farm in northern Thailand. We took a cooking class there learning some of the best Thai dishes that we still make at home today.
Otherwise known as Tom Kha Gai, this soup is a spin on a Thai classic, Thai Coconut Chicken Soup. Using fresh herbs like lemongrass, ginger and cilantro, this vegan version is filled with flavor and packs a serious kick. I was peeling off the layers of clothing during dinner as my insides heated up.
We like spicy food although I’m way more of a wimp when it comes to “Thai hot.” If you’re like me or are making this for a family with young children, start slowly with the crushed red pepper. A little goes a long way and the longer this soup sits on the stovetop, the more the spices and flavors will develop.
I hope this spicy soup warms you from the inside out giving you the energy you need for this final push of winter weather.
Thai Coconut Soup
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- 4 cups veggie broth
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 TB. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut into 3 long pieces
- 2 cups Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 small baby bok choy, thinly sliced
- 2 TB. fresh lime juice
- 1 TB. coconut aminos
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 green onion, finely chopped for garnish
- Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped for garnish
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk and veggie broth, and bring to a low boil. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass and cook until fragrant (about 3 minutes). Reduce heat and add mushrooms and bok choy, simmering for another 5 minutes.
Finally add lime juice, coconut aminos, salt, and crushed red pepper stirring to combine. Garnish with green onion and cilantro.
Discard lemongrass and serve as is or with brown rice.
Meat Lovers Variation: Add 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch strips before mushrooms and bok choy, cooking until chicken is white on the outside, about 10 minutes.
Another option is to bake the chicken breast in the oven, cutting into strips and adding to the soup bowls of the meat eaters.