Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thai Garden Vegetable Soup




Today we care so much about what we eat. Yet we have less time to prepare nutritious food. My favorite midday meal is soup. I make a lot of quick ones. This rainbow-colored recipe is ready in about 30 minutes. A bit of chopping and dropping into a pot is all that's required. It's a fun, healthy, Thai-take on garden vegetable soup. I like it much better than the old standard. Spiked with chili, lime and creamy coconut milk, it makes a light and lively lunch paired with crusty rolls or crackers. With an abundance of vegetables, pops of  sweet peas and fresh scallions, this non-traditional veggie soup is a good choice for springtime. It's wonderful sprinkled with Thai basil or regular basil.  If you're craving a satisfying Southeast Asian bowl of deliciousness, give it a try!




Sipping soup and  stitching is how I spent my morning. Off to work at the crisis center now, feeling content and ready for a busy night. I hope everyone is having a nice day too!


Happy Easter and Passover!     





Thai Garden Vegetable Soup Recipe


Serves 4

Some Notes & Tips:

Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon is my go-to veggie bouillon when I don't have the time or energy to make my own stock. It's the best! I love it for its clean taste and homemade flavor. I find it at Whole Foods or buy it online at Amazon. It's a lifesaver for quick soups like this one. But you can swap it and the water for 4 cups of your favorite broth or stock. I like to thicken the soup with a cornstarch and water mixture. But that step totally optional.

Star Anise and cinnamon lend a distinctly warm, Asian flavors to this soup which I love. I like using sweet and strong Vietnamese Cinnamon in this recipe. 

I use all of the coconut cream that floats to the top of a can of full fat coconut milk which amounts to a generous cup. Just don't shake the can before opening. 

I like to thicken the soup with a cornstarch and cold water mixture for a rich, velvety texture. 

Ingredients


  • 1 bunch of scallions (about 6-8), diced. Reserve the dark green parts for serving.
  • 2 small or medium zucchinis, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced thinly 
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 1 russet potato or sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • A handful of green beans (about 20 green beans), chopped
  • All or part of one small red or green Thai pepper or jalapeno pepper. I use one Thai pepper.  
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated  
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 star anise pod (optional)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (see notes) 
  • 4 vegetable bouillon cubes. I use Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon. 
  • Salt to taste. I use a teaspoon of fine sea salt.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold water  
  • To Serve: Thai basil or regular basil, lime wedges, rice crackers, warm rolls, quinoa, steamed rice  

Instructions


Put 4 cups of water in a large soup pot and add the white and light green parts of the scallions, zucchini. red bell pepper, potato, green beans, Thai pepper, ginger, bouillon cubes, cinnamon, star anise pod (if using) and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables and the potatoes are soft. Remove the star anise pod. Stir in the corn, peas, coconut cream and the cornstarch and water mixture. Cook for a few minutes. Squeeze in some fresh lime juice. Sprinkle in some of the the reserved dark green parts of the scallions. Thai basil or regular basil is wonderful with this soup too! Enjoy!  

Bon Appetit!



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