Sunday, November 9, 2014
Sweet and Sour Soup--Secret Recipe Club
When it gets colder, I crave soup. But what I often really really really crave is soup with that sassy combination of flavors that make up Thai soups. I love the kick of spices and peppers with the creamy coconut milk and a little sweet. It's kind of a meal that appeals to all our cravings in just one dish.
So when I had Morsels of Life this month for Secret Recipe Club, it wasn't hard for me to pick a recipe. This one jumped into my cold house like a--well, anyway, I can't think of a good simile--but I really wanted to make this soup.
And I did. And it was delicious. If you're afraid of Asian soups or cooking, don't be. This was kind of a nice little fusion soup--a little Asian, a little American. CJ. who writes Morsels of Life (and has a new baby--yay!), says that if you like a little more of something or less of something, then add it accordingly. I was making this for a nursing mom, so we scaled back the heat in order to keep her baby happy. I also didn't have any lemon grass and so I used a bit of lemon rind--worked wonderfully. Also, I completely forgot about the rice noodles. I had them; they just never made it into this soup. I didn't even notice their absence until hours later, but if you want noodles, then go for it. The point is--don't be afraid--just give it a go. It's a beautifully balanced soup that is wonderfully satisfying.
Sweet and Sour Soup
adapted from Morsels of Life
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Cost: $6.00 (to reduce the cost, add fewer shrimp or a less expensive white fish)
onion: .15, pepper: .50, chilies: .10, carrot: .10, mushrooms: .30, ginger: .05, garlic: .05, chicken stock: .40, lemon grass: .40, shrimp: 2.50, tomatoes: .20, coconut milk: .75, rice noodles: .50, other ingredients: .20
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 C onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tsp finely diced chilies (I used jalepenos without seeds to add a little something without too much kick; you could also use a chili pepper sauce but then wait and add it with coconut milk)
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 C mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
3 C chicken or veggie stock
1 1/2 stalks lemon grass (or a few scrapes of lemon rind)
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 lb shrimp (white fish would probably also work)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/2 C tomatoes, diced
1 C coconut milk
1 Tbsp cilantro (I used for garnish, but could be added to soup)
2 Tbsp brown or white sugar
a handful rice noodles
Heat oil in a pot. Add onion, pepper, chilies, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or two more. Add remaining ingredients except rice noodles. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. (If you used lemon stalk, take it out here.) If using rice noodles, add them and cook for just a few minutes. Garnish with cilantro if desired.