Mel’s Firepot Soup.
We recently had dinner with our friends Melanie and Chris Moran. Mel served this divine soup. I asked her for the recipe, and my only major change has been to add the mushrooms.
I usually double this recipe for generous main-course servings.
12.3 oz extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes. I love Mori Nu tofu.
3/4 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms, sautéed in 1T olive oil
Set these two ingredients aside
3 T thai curry paste (available at large supermarkets and Asian markets, or use my recipe from Arnold Myint, see below. When I use Arnold’s recipe, i use 4 T. I use generous tablespoons of this)
1 T olive oil
6 thai basil leaves, torn (available at Asian markets, or you can use regular basil)
2 tsp brown sugar (if using my recipe below for curry paste, this sugar isn’t necessary)
1/2 tsp salt (again, if using my recipe for curry paste, this salt isn’t necessary)
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 6-inch stalk lemongrass
1/2 lime, juiced
1 or 2 red or green Thai chilies, pierced with a knife. I use 1. I’m not big on really hot food.
3 cups cooked white rice
cilantro for serving
Cook the rice and set aside.
Heat the oil in the skillet and bring back to medium high heat. Add the curry paste and “mash” together with the oil until both are combined. Stir while cooking for another two minutes and then slowly whisk in the coconut milk and broth.
Add the brown sugar, salt, torn Thai basil, lime juice, lemongrass stalk and chilies and simmer for ten minutes. Add the tofu and mushrooms to the skillet and heat through. Add cooked rice to individual bowls and top with soup and garnish with chopped cilantro, or kaffir lime leaves. Don’t forget to discard the lemongrass and chilies—you don’t want to eat those.
Arnold Myint’s Red Thai Curry Paste
In 2 T olive oil cook the following on medium heat:
1 large sliced onion . When onion starts to become soft and translucent, add
2 T chopped fresh garlic
2 red Thai chilies, chopped, with seeds removed. These guys are hot. Use your own judgement if you want more heat. I like my curries mild.
2 T fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 T lemongrass, peel off outer leaves, slice and chop the stalk.
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of cumin
Continue to cook these ingredients until they are all soft, then add
4 T tomato paste
2 T Tamerine concentrate.
3 T palm sugar
4 T bragg’s amino acid
Continue to cook over low medium heat for 5 minutes
Put all in cuisinart. With chopping blade, blend to a smooth paste.
This will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, or you can freeze it in plastic bags. I put 4 T in each small plastic bag. Great to have already made.