I’ve been making a version of this soup for a long, long time. Every time I have a coconut milk urge (which is often!), I turn to my fridge and look at what I could toss in a Thai soup. This time, my friend Darlene had brought me Thai basil and Indonesian lime leaves from her garden. It was a golden opportunity!
I had bok choy, zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell pepper in the fridge. Other times it could have been sweet potato, tofu, and kale. You can pretty much empty your fridge into this soup. It is versatile, easy to make, bright, and nourishing. It stays nice for leftovers the next day as well. The kids love it, too!
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chile pepper, minced
- 1 lemongrass stalk, tender part only, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste (optional, your soup would be just fine without it)
- 1 cup stemmed shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1-2 Indonesian lime leaves
- 1 can (14-oz) coconut milk
- Vegetables: zucchini, bok choy, carrots, bell pepper, cooked squash or sweet potato, basically whatever you have leftover or vegetables you think would go well
- Juice of one lime
- Garnishes: cilantro, lime wedges, minced Thai pepper, Thai basil
In a large soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, chile pepper, lemongrass, and fresh ginger. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the red curry paste and cook for one minute more. Add the mushrooms and the vegetables you are planning to use, depending on their hardiness, so that they soften a bit before you finish cooking them in the broth.
Add the broth and Indonesian lime leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are done, about 5-10 minutes, depending on the vegetables. If you add spinach, add it after this simmering time, as spinach doesn’t need to cook, just wilt. Then add the coconut milk, taste and adjust seasoning, and bring back to a gentle simmer. Before serving, turn the heat off and add the lime juice.
Serve topped with Thai basil, fresh cilantro, fresh lime wedges. Bon appétit!