Friday, February 4, 2011

Tom Kha, Thai Coconut Soup for National Homemade Soup Day

Did you know its National Homemade Soup Day? That’s ok, I didn’t either. Not until a Facebook Vegas photographer friend brought it up today.

Without Facebook how would I get word of all these silly little days? Ooo I wonder what we’re celebrating tomorrow? National Ding Dong Day? Nah. I couldn’t get that lucky.

This Thai soup can be vegan, it can be vegetarian, you can even make a shrimp or chicken version. It’s totally adaptable to your own preferences.

Tom Kha, Thai Coconut Soup
Printer Version
Lemongrass and lime leaves are often found by the other small packages of fresh herbs in grocery stores, but if you can’t find them try an organic market. Shrimp and chicken adaptations below.

4 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 dried Thai or other hot chiles, split lengthwise
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 package lemongrass, ends trimmed
1/2 package lime leaves
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into slivers
12 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dices
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce for vegan
1 to 2 tablespoons white vinegar, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes, below

In a saucepan, combine the broth, garlic, chiles, ginger, 1/2 a package of lemongrass and 1/4 package of lime leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the saucepan. Stir in the sugar, coconut milk, mushrooms, bell pepper, tofu, fish sauce (or soy sauce for vegan), 1/4 package of lime leaves and the rest of the lemon grass.

Simmer 15 minutes. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro and Chili Garlic Sauce as desired. Do not eat lemongrass or lime leaves.

Prep time 15 minutes. Cook time 30 minutes.

Bean sprouts
Chopped Cilantro
Bottled Chili Garlic Sauce

For shrimp version: During the last 5 minutes of cooking time add a pound of raw shrimp and simmer until pink.

For chicken version: Add a pound of cooked and shredded chicken during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Recipe and photograph by Laura Flowers.


Joanne said...

I always find out about food holidays far too late for me to do anything about them. And it's always sad. I think I need this soup to build me back up. Fortify me.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Laura, this is one om my favorite soups. I love the recipe you used to produce that gorgeous bowl of goodness. I'll have to give it a try. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Unknown said...

can someone please wake me up when it's national drink wine and watch bad tv all day day?

Soup looks fab, great flavors! I would love a taste

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I had no idea, hence the batch of chili that I fed the family for dinner.


Amee said...

Seriously, I think we are blog soulmates! I just got this for takeout tonight (as in 30 mins ago) and was thinking "Hmm - I should learn how to make this, and then blog about it" I continue to love the tone and humor of your blog also. Looking fw to Nat'l DingDong day. ;) -amee

softhef said...

this is my favorite soup ever! happy to see a recipe with ingredients i can pronounce. and like most everything else in my life, i will celebrate....LATE!

Krysta said...

Ooooh, Thai anything is my favorite!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Oh I didn't know that this *holiday! Too bad I missed it as I still haven't posted any soups on my blog and I love them in my daily eating. This looks beautiful, exotic, flavorful. Everything I'd want in a soup.

Unknown said...

This looks lovely. I love tom kha.

Monet said...

It does seem like I'm missing a special food "day" each and every week. There are far too many! But I love the thought of celebrating homemade soup (especially one as tempting as this!) I love coconut milk. Thank you for sharing, my blogging friend! I'm sending you wishes for a happy and delicious week!

Sunit said...

That sounds so yummy! My turn to cook for housemates tomorrow, this is definitely on the menu :D

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