Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ginger and Green Curry Soup

As many of you may know by now I am on a restricted diet due to some food sensitivities to Gluten, Soy, Eggs and Dairy so my kitchen has become a mini food lab for trying out new recipes and modifying recipes I love to make them free of the things I should not eat! Thai curries have been a great inspiration for me with their fresh ingredients and one of my favorite liquids Coconut Milk! I like to eat this soup topped with fresh sprouts and red cargo rice on the side!
 If you have an Asian market in your neighborhood I highly recommend visiting them for vegetables and especially the fresh Ginger root for this recipe. I find that the vegetables at these markets are always very fresh as vegetables make up the bulk in most Asian diets so the produce has a very high turnaround. The veggies at my market are not advertised as organic but since I always find critters in my produce and I take it as a good sign!
 I am always especially excited about the ginger at my local Asian Market. It is always juicy and fresh and they even have Galangal a root in the same family as Ginger and used widely in South East Asia. It has a similar flavor to Ginger but is milder with less heat and slight woody pine flavors. It is used to make Thai Curry Pastes and can be substituted with regular ginger if you want to try and make your own green curry paste. I have seen many recipes but all have the ginger or galangal, garlic, chiles, lemongrass, lime and a spice blend. There are a lot of ingredients on most Green Curry Paste recipes so I like to buy mine pre-made.

• 32 oz of low sodium vegetable broth from a box or make your own here.
• 1 can (13.5 oz) of Coconut Milk
• 6 large cloves of garlic sliced (or more if you like)
• 3 Tablespoons of grated FRESH ginger root. I like to use a fine cheese grater. Powdered ginger will not give you the heat and sweetness. 
• 1 Tablespoon Green Curry Paste (more or less to your taste)
• 1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil.
• 1 heaping tablespoon of Brown Sugar
• 1 cup rough chopped basil (sweet or thai) 
• 6 green onions light green and white parts, chopped
• Black pepper and Coconut Aminos to taste. (Coconut Aminos is a soy free liquid amino acid seasoning alternative - it kind of tastes like a combination of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and is DELICIOUS! You can use Soy Sauce if you do not have sensitivities)
• Vegetables - you can use just about anything that you have on hand. I am using:
2 Red Bell peppers sliced
3 - 4 cups of Baby Bok Choy cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 cups stemmed watercress cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 cup whole sugar snap peas
If you are ok with meat you can sub the Veggie Broth for 32 oz. of low sodium Chicken Broth and add one cup of sliced chicken to the soup. 

1) Wash and dry all of your veggies herbs and spices, cut up and separate into cooking times. Group 1: Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions, Red Peppers. Group 2: Bok Choy Stems and Sugar Snap Peas. Group 3: Basil, Watercress, Bok Choy Leaves. I like to have a few bowls going to hold my veggies as I chop then up since they have different cooking times.
2) In a medium Sauce Pan Heat your Sesame oil and saute Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions and Red Bell Pepper for about one minute to release the flavors - be sure to not burn anything!
3) Add the Sugar, Vegetable Broth, Coconut Milk, Green Curry Paste, Bok Choy and Sugar Snap Peas and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
4) Add the Basil, Watercress and Bok Choy Leaves and boil for about 2 minutes.



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