Monday, March 2, 2009
Zucchini-Lemon Soup. Thai Curries
This is a very forgiving recipe, and you can adjust the amount of zucchini used according to your appetite and to the desired thickness of the finished product. Although I have included tofu in this recipe, I often make it without tofu altogether and it is delicious that way too.
3/4 lb zucchini squash, sliced but not peeled
1 or two slices onion, chopped, or to taste (less rather than more, in this case)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
zest of half a lemon
4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
crushed chilies to taste
juice of half a lemon
half a pack of soft tofu, roughly cubed
Put all except the lemon juice and the tofu into a soup pot and cook until the zucchini is just done.
Blend the soup with a wand blender but preferably in a blender jug along with the lemon juice and the tofu. The soup should be creamy and a lovely fresh pale green colour. You may need to add a little water to get it to the consistency you wish.
Return soup to the soup pot and reheat gently. Serve garnished as you will - I used cilantro for the soup in the photo because we like the taste and it also goes very well with the lemon.
Variation: you may wish to use fresh or dried herbs along with the zucchini etc. in the soup pot. Italian herbs go well, but be careful not to overwhelm the fresh taste of the zucchini and lemon.
And now for a change of pace :)
Wanting some Thai curry (yes yes, the whole thing with - gasp - coconut milk and all!) I decided to make my own for the first time in ages. The impetus was seeing some lovely fresh Thai basil and some fresh kaffir lime leaves along with lemon grass at our local asian shop. I also picked up some of their tofu - a real treat when we can get it. Stopping at another shop, I got a small jar (yes, I know it's cheating) of Thai
yellow curry paste - the kind without fish paste of creatures of any kind in it. It's good to make your own paste, but this was to be a relatively quick meal and I didn't think I'd have the time. I found organic light coconut milk at my health food store, so all was set.
No real recipe here, except to shred a few kaffir lime leaves, grate some ginger, peel and finely chop the lemon grass, chop a little onion and garlic, and defrost and chop some Thai red chlies which I always have in the freezer. This all went into a large pan with some cubed eggplant, a diced potato, and (a little later so that it didn't get overcooked) a red bell pepper - and of course the Thai basil and enough of the Thai curry paste to make it just right (which in our lexicon means HOT).
By the time the rice was ready, so was the curry!
We've had variations on this over the last week - including one with sweet potato and green snap peas - and it's been lovely every time. I do so love Thai food.