Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot Soup, Literally - Tom Kha Het

It has been a surprisingly wet and cold summer so far.  Oh, there have been a few hot days here and there, in particular around the 4th of July.  But for the most part, it has been chilly and wet.  To me, cool and damp means soup time.

Soup has the extraordinary ability to warm the cockles of your heart.  This particular soup, however, has the power to warm you from head to toes with it's chili laced goodness.  I speak of the luxurious Tom Kha, basically Coconut Galangal Soup.  Granted you can make it with Chicken (Tom Kha Kai) or Seafood (Tom Kha Thale) and even Amy's Organics makes a vegetable version (Tom Kha Phak), but I prefer the much more subtle flavor of mushrooms, thus this is Tom Kha Het.

It's truly a delightful soup.  Creamy, gingery deliciousness permeated with the tang of lime and lemon grass and laced with the fruity heat of Thai Chilies.  OK, now I am hungry again... so I am gonna sneak another bowl.  Be right back.

Tom Kha Het

(Coconut Galangal Mushroom soup)

2 cups Chicken Stock (or Vegetable)
2 cans Coconut Milk, divided
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 oz Lemongrass, sliced thinly
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves, sliced thinly and divided
4 dried Thai Chilies, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 inch Galangal, sliced, or rather chipped
2 oz White Onion, diced
4 oz Carrot, cut on the bias
6 oz Napa Cabbage, shredded
8 oz Mushrooms, sliced (if using straw mushrooms, don't slice them)
1 can of Baby Corns, cut into thirds
Juice of 2 Limes
2 TB Nam Pla (Fish Sauce)
1/2 oz Cilantro Leaves

First you need to chop and slice everything up, cause this is a quick soup.

Combine Garlic, Lemongrass, 1/2 of the shredded Lime leaves, Thai Chilies and Galangal in a medium saucepan.

Add Chicken Stock and 1 can of the Coconut Milk.

Place over medium flame and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain the "broth" into a larger pot to remove the woody Lemon grass and Galangal.

Add the remaining can of Coconut Milk and bring back to a simmer again.

Once the broth is simmering, add the Onion, Carrot, Napa Cabbage, remaining Kaffir Lime leaves and Mushrooms.

Cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes to cook the vegetables.

Add Baby Corns and simmer 2 minutes longer to warm them through.

Finish off with Lime Juice

and Nam Pla.

Spoon into a bowl and serve with a sprinkling of Cilantro leaves.



Patti T. said...

Looks good, but I am not thinking of a steaming hot bowl of soup right now. I am seriously considering having ice cream for dinner!

Anonymous said...

I bought Tom Kha paste this morning and was wondering how to make a soup without using chicken. This is perfect, onion, carrots, cabbage and mushrooms. Don't want anything else...Thank you!