Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tips from my Garden and Thai Coconut Soup.

I have been wanting a garden since I don't know how long and with our backyard renovation I thought I would finally have it  and was promised the side garden out of view for it. But my DH - and rightly so- thought the air conditioning unit and the pool equipment and the water heater needed to go back there too out of sight- so my long beautiful garden became a 4x 12 feet, but hey it's still 48 sq feet I did not have before!  I planted heirloom and sun gold and sweet 100 tomatoes, zucchini, an eggplant and serrano chili peper, basil , carrots and we've been getting out a bounty.  With all the compost I used the tomatoes got over 8 feet tall.  Now the season is almost over and I get to have the last of my harvest for one of my favorite comfort food- Thai Coconut Soup. 

The recipe comes from Sunset magazine and it was a revised version for the American cooks but the flavors are spot on and easy peasy one pot recipe.

Thai Coconut soup.     serves 4.     Takes about 10 minutes to make.

1 can coconut milk (14 oz)
1 can low sodium chicken broth
6 quarter size ginger pieces
1 stalk lemon grass cut into 1" pieces
1 tablespoon each of fish sauce and lime juice (more or less)
1 teaspoon each sugar and Thai chili paste (more or less- depending on your hotness factor)

then add mushroom- any or all kinds, veggies- eggplant, zucchini works well, the original recipe calls for chicken but I like mussels (you can find cleaned and flash frozen  ones ins Asian markets) or shrimp too. Bring it all together and simmer until veggies are tender

I've added potatoes if you like that, noodle and even poured the soup over rice and let it soak like porridge.  You can garnish with basil and cilantro if you like.

I put lot of different veggies and it is delicious.  If you like Thai flavors and want an easy soup to make the ingredients are not too difficult to find.  In California we can find all of these things in a regular grocery store so we are very blessed.

I bought Lemon grass at the  grocery store- it always comes in a bundle with 4-5 and I only needed one- so I got ones that had a little more root stock (if possible) and stuck it in a pot of dirt earlier this year and watered it regularly with fertilizer and now I have multiple baby stalks that are coming out on the side and I just cut one at the base when I need it.

I also bought Thai basil when it was just a little starter pot from Home Depot and now I have a big plant that I clip when I need a little of that too.  I just planted a ginger root and hope to have a ginger plant next year some time!

I keep cans of coconut milk and chicken broth on hand and freeze ginger roots after peeling and cutting into coin size pieces wrapped in plastic a few pieces at a time and put them in freezer bags so ready to use any time.



Makani said...

oh yum! love that you have so many of the ingredients just outside your door. when's dinner? :)

Sharon said...

My goodness, you are one incredible lady!! How do you find time? Look delish, I will need to try. Great seeing you yesterday. I'm so sad I had to leave early, sounds like the afternoon was lots of fun.

Susan Shields said...

I absolutely love that you are gardening and am so thankful for your shared recipe! I want to try and make it!!! Thank you for sharing!