Feeling run down? Getting a cold? Need to cleanse after all the holiday festivities? This soup from northern Thailand will have you up and running in no time. According to Vegetarian Times magazine this soup is believed to prevent and reduce colds and fever. It certainly made me feel better! There is something about these types of soups that make you feel detoxed to some degree and I just love them. My version of Tom Yum soup is another favorite with a much different spice paste. This soup has a paste of chilies, garlic and lemongrass as its base (I added some fresh ginger also). I used Swiss chard, baby spinach and some sliced shiitake mushrooms (no tofu or arugula) and made the paste in my food processor as I have no mortar and pestle. I also added rice stick noodles because I am a "noodle bowl" freak but rice would be nice also. I wish you all a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year! Enjoy!
Recipe: Gaeng Khae (Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup)
Vegetarian Times; December 2009
15 dried arbol chiles (or japones chiles)
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 stalks lemongrass, minced
2 shallots, minced (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon red miso
4 cups vegetable broth (preferably low sodium)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups sliced beet leaves (or Swiss chard or escarole, turnip greens, kale, etc.)
1 cup fennel, diced (or turnips)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup firm tofu, diced
1 cup coarsely chopped arugula
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Soak chiles in a bowl of boiling water 30 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and finely chop.
Combine garlic and salt in mortar, and pound with pestle(or food processor). Add lemongrass, shallots, miso and chiles, pounding and crushing after each addition to make a thick paste(or use food processor).
Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in soy sauce and chile paste.
Add greens, fennel, and mushroooms, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 5 minutes.
Add tofu, and cook 2 more minutes.
Stir in arugula, mint and parsley. Simmer 1-2 minutes, or until herbs wilt.