This month’s recipe is a classic Thai curry soup that is very quick and easy to prepare. I have been a big fan of Thai food since my teens, but my true love affair with it commenced during my travels in Southeast Asia a few years ago. After sampling as many different dishes as possible while touring that section of the continent, I have spent many days and nights trying to recreate authentic versions of all of my favorites. I have had mixed luck competing with the authenticity of the pros in Thailand, but this red curry soup comes pretty close to one you might find on the street in Bangkok.
This recipe makes for a very satiating meal that provides numerous health benefits. The herbs and spices, along with the onion, garlic and ginger provide an abundance of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying elements to the dish. While coconut oil and coconut milk have gotten a bad rap in the past for their high amount of saturated fats, recent studies have shown them both to actually lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good cholesterol), while reducing arterial damage and providing minerals such as manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Using light coconut milk in this recipe helps to cut back on the total calories and fat in the dish.
This curry soup can be prepared in well under an hour even with the lengthy prep work involved. However, when time is on your side, more flavor will develop the longer it sits at low heat. There is always room for any additional vegetables, such as the optional mushrooms and kale, and you won’t go wrong adding in another protein such as chicken or shrimp. The recipe makes about 8-12 servings.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 3 cups light coconut milk
- 2 cups kale, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup button or cremini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 1 package thin rice noodles
- 1-2 limes cut up into wedges
- fresh cilantro
- sliced scallions
- fresh basil
- bean sprouts
- thinly sliced fresh red chili peppers (optional)
- thinly sliced bell pepper (optional)
- Heat a large stockpot to medium-high heat. Sauté the onion in the coconut oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and red curry paste and stir continuously for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock or broth and stir thoroughly, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add any desired (optional) vegetables of your choice at this point, such as mushrooms and/or kale.
- Add the tofu at the last 2 minutes of cooking to heat through.
- Taste the broth and season to preference with kosher salt and/or a dash of soy sauce or fish sauce if needed.
- You can either cook the noodles according to the package directions and cool them by running under cold water, or you can break a chunk off and put them in a bowl dry and ladle the hot soup over top and allow to sit for a couple of minutes until they soften.
- Squeeze a couple of wedges of lime into the soup bowl and garnish with the rest of the desired ingredients.
Calories: 235 / Fat: 11g / Saturated Fat: 5g / Carbohydrates: 26g / Fiber: 4g / Protein: 11g