So you might have noticed that I am still on a soup kick. It may have something to do with the constant deluge of rain blown sideways by strong gusts of wind. This soup, in particular, is designed to use winter veggies like sweet potato, squash and mushrooms with fresh ginger in a deliciously spicy red curry, coconut milk broth. I added tofu for extra protein and millet, brown rice ramen noodles to make a pretty hearty meal in a bowl.
I love the spicy but comforting flavors of this soup. It’s loaded with vegetables that make it a nutritional feast but also provide interest. Each spoonful is a different culinary adventure, from the creaminess of the sweet potato, to the earthy mushrooms and the just tender bok choy all swimming in a yummy coconut curry broth.
What really makes it though, is the garnishes of sliced red onion and fresh cilantro (or parsley if you’re not a cilantro lover), so don’t skip this step. You can use whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand. Japanese eggplant would be a good choice. Just keep in mind that some veggies take longer than others to cook.
TIPS: I used whole grain ramen noodles which I was trying for the first time. They had a good flavor and texture but broke into small pieces which made it easier to eat but not quite as pretty as intended. Rice vermicelli or spaghetti would hold it’s shape better.
This recipe calls for several Thai spices which are easy to find in my grocery stores. I’ll admit that the list of ingredients is pretty long but each adds an important flavor to the mix. If you don’t have the ingredients or can’t be bothered to buy them, you may be lucky enough to find a curry soup base in your market. Just add the fresh ingredients and you’re done.
Draining the tofu isn’t absolutely necessary, especially if you are pressed for time, since it’s going into a liquid base, but I prefer to squeeze out the water it was packed in to allow the flavors of the broth to be absorbed. It makes the tofu more flavorful.
THAI RED CURRY SOUP
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2-3 Tbsn Thai red curry paste
- 2 tsp red chili paste (optional)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 13oz. can coconut milk
- 2 Tbsn fish sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos (GF)
- 1 Tbsn lime juice
- 2 Tbsn brown or white sugar
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and diced
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and sliced or diced
- 1 cup winter squash or zucchini, sliced or diced
- 4-5 shitake or criminy mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 sliced baby bok choy, 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage or 1 cup shredded leafy greens
- 6 oz. whole grain ramen noodles or rice vermicelli noodles (GF)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 red onion
- Drain tofu on papertowels, cover with papertowels and gently press water out by hand or with a heavy pan. Let sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Add garlic, ginger, red curry paste, red pepper paste, vegetable broth, coconut milk fish sauce and half of sugar to a large soup pot and bring almost to boiling. Reduce to a simmer. Taste and add rest of sugar if desired and more
- Add sweet potato, tofu and squash (If you are using zucchini, add with the bok choy) and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add bok choy, mushrooms and noodles and cook another five minutes.
- Serve topped with sliced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro and maybe a drizzle of sriracha.
Thai Red Curry Soup