Curried Coconut Soup with Lemongrass
from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

4 servings, 40 minutes

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed oil or corn
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
1 small fresh chile, preferably Thai, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
3 stalks lemongrass, peeled, trimmed, and minced
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps (reserve stems for stock or discard)
1 quart vegetable stock
13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
1/2 cup minced scallion, for garnish
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, for garnish

1.  Put the oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes, then lower the heat a bit and cook for 5 minutes more, until it is very, very tender.  Add the garlic, ginger, chile, lemongrass, and curry powder and cook, stirring, for about a minute.  Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute, stirring.

2.  Add the stock and bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture simmers and cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the coconut milk and cook about 5 minutes more.  Add the soy sauce, then taste and add more soy sauce or some salt and pepper if necessary.  Stir in a couple of tablespoons of lime juice, then taste and add more if you like.  Garnish and serve.

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