Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vegetable Soup with Thai Flavors

My first exposure to Thai food was many years ago, and the dish was tom yum gai, an explosively flavorful soup.  I fell in love immediately.  Fast forward to today, when I made this incredibly easy soup that is not quite tom yum gai, and not quite Thai, to be frank.  But its flavor is definitely in the ballpark.  It has a serious punch of lime, lemongrass, cilantro, and onion, with a spicy kick to round it out.  It is, in a word, yummy.

This soup also happens to be extremely healthy, completely vegetarian, and cheap to put together.  It's another one to add to the ever growing "remind me to make this next time I have a cold" list.  But there's no need to wait to get sick. 

And a cheater's note:  you can buy crushed lemongrass in a tube in the produce section.  If you opt to go that route instead of buying fresh, use about two inches.

Vegetable Soup with Thai Flavors
adapted from Bon Appetit
serves 4


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
pinch of salt
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 four-inch piece lemongrass, smashed with back of knife
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (Asian chili sauce)
1 five-oz. package baby spinach
1 cup 1/2-inch cubes extra firm tofu
juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1.  Heat oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-low heat.  Add onion and garlic, and season with a pinch of salt.  Saute until tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes.

2.  Add broth, lemongrass, and Sriracha.  Increase heat; cover and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat and let stand for about 15 minutes.  Uncover, remove the lemongrass and discard.

3.  Add spinach, tofu, lime juice, and cilantro to broth.  Place over medium heat and cook until spinach wilts, and tofu is heated through, stirring occasionally.  Serve.


1 comment:

  1. Now we won't need to seek out Thai restaurants any more - this sounds perfect, and pretty easy too. Thank you.