Friday, November 8, 2013

Red Thai Curry Sauce...Soup

I'm one of those people who orders the same things at restaurants I frequent. It's not like I don't like new things but when I go to a place with a huge menu or a bunch of things I can't picture, the default setting kicks in. For example, I'm a huge fan of pad Thai. Granted, it varies from place to place but that is my tried and true go-to for Thai restaurants. Even though I've tried my friends' dishes and they're amazing (and usually in a pineapple), my stomach has been conditioned to get pad Thai.

Pretty simple ingredients 
Well it turns out that I rather like Thai food or at least making some of it. Nothing super fancy, just some spicy Thai eggplant, spicy noodles (to be perfected), and now Thai curry sauce--or in my case soup. 

I came across this recipe during the summer as I longed for cooler days with fall leaves and a cozy blanket. To me, the picture was a bowl of soup, perfect for the fall/winter season. So I gathered my ingredients and set about making this Thai dish. I decided to pass on having quinoa as a side but this would be great over any grain. 
Sneak peak at the final product

As I read through the recipe, I realized that this sounded more like a sauce for chicken and rice but nevertheless, I was adamant in my soup endeavor. 

This literally took 15 minutes to make. Mushrooms and peppers are sautéed in olive oil while the coconut milk is brought to a boil. My coconut milk was making all kinds of freaky bubbling noises but it worked out.
This is called multi-tasking
Fish sauce, curry paste and brown sugar are added to the boiling coconut milk, followed by the vegetables. This soup/sauce can be completed here by seasoning with some basil and any additional spices you desire. The recipe calls for lemon grass but ironically, I skipped this (I couldn't find any, okay?). I decided to add some diced chicken for some added protein (plus it was already cooked and sitting in my fridge). I let this mixture simmer with some basil leaves before serving.

Those bubbles were crazy noisy

When I purchased the ingredients, I bought two peppers instead of the required one because the peppers fit together like puzzle pieces. This is probably from being crushed together in a truck but I couldn't pass up poetic peppers. I also bought the basil in a plastic container but tried to smell it anyways. No luck. When I stand in the produce section I try to be all fancy and know what the heck I'm looking for in fresh vegetables besides a lack of mold. Farmers markets are much more satisfying for smelling fresh produce and hand picking basil. In my dizzy daydreams, I'll have an herb box one day. But them I remember my brown thumb so maybe there are just more farmers markets in my future.

We were meant to be together 

The soup came out very well and if it were to be used as a sauce, I would reduce the amount of coconut milk or only use the creamiest part, much like with the fish curry where we initially separate the milk. I also found my curry paste to be a bit bland so added some cayenne pepper for some added kick.

Snuggle up with this soup and a blanket, winter is coming.

The final product

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