Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thai Kitchen Sink Soup


So a few weeks ago I went over "concept recipes." This is the soup version of that. Honestly I made this too long ago to really remember what I put in, but there will be an honest guess. The vegetable items in this soup are as much whatever I have kicking around my fridge that I want to use up as the broth is.

To make the liquid part of the soup I look through my fridge for one or two things to make it 'rich,' like creamy, and one or two things to give it flavor.

For the vegetables I see what I have, shred, dice and chop.

Rich items could include: nut butters, particularly almond and cashew (but also peanut, macadamia nut, tahini, etc.), coconut milk, and/or mushrooms. I usually do this when I have a near-empty jar of some sort of butter I need to use up, a half can of coconut milk, potatoes, squash, etc.

Flavor items are usually some sort of paste made for soup or sauces: Miso (sweet, dark red, whatever I have), tom yum, thai curries (like red, masaman, yellow), garam masala, chunky chat, indian curry powder, etc.

I usually toss in a couple cloves of garlic, ginger, a vegetable stock cube (or better than bullion paste), salt, braggs liquid aminos, sesame oil, soaked kombu (kelp), red pepper flakes, black pepper, other spices... all depends on the flavor I am going for.

All of this goes into the blender, with some water, and I blend until smooth. Some combos work better than others, IE almond butter + thai curries work very well. Miso + kombu + sesame oil = good. I then pour it into a sauce pan on the stove and heat it up.

Meanwhile, I prepare whatever vegetables I have into the number of bowls I am using. In this case I shredded some carrots and daikon, ripped up some basil leaves, and slices some scallions and put them in a bowl. Other good veggies included shredded zucchini, roasted root vegetables, thinly sliced onions, spinach, carrots... You can also toss leftover cooked grains/beans in as well, such as rice, quinoa, chickpeas, etc.

When the soup is ready (re: boiling), I pour it over the ingredients, into the bowl. The vegetables are blanched, and keep their flavor/are not over-cooked. The infusion of basil adds a great kick when cooking more thai-style soups.

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