One of the things that I love most about blogging is that I get to woo you with pretty things. I love taking pictures of food when the light is just right in my apartment and then writing you a post and telling you wacky things about my life. I love all of your comments, enthusiasm, and stories when I share bits of my soul with you through food.
The thing that I appreciate most about blogging though is that none of you are ever standing in my kitchen when I have an epic. kitchen. fail. And that was my kitchen this week. I had decided it was time to learn to make my own tempeh and boy that plan did not work out in any capacity. I couldn't get the temperature right for the starter to flourish, the beans weren't covered well so they dried out, and then I let it all sit out too long. Even properly-made tempeh looks pretty creepy so you can image how bad improperly-made tempeh looks.
But I was lucky enough to have one epic kitchen success this week. Enter tom kha soup.
Tom kha soup is a spicy thai soup that uses coconut milk, lemongrass, chilies and galangal in the broth. Galangal is related to ginger, but has a much different flavor. However, due to availability, I ended up subbing ginger in my soup and was pleasantly pleased with the results.
I love the balance of spice and coconut milk in this soup. This is my favorite soup to make regardless of the weather and I will often make the broth if I am feeling a cold coming on. Enjoy this as a main entree at dinner or as a fabulous first course!
Tom Kha Soup
Serves 2 - 4
Adapted from Fun and Food Blog
3 stalks lemon grass (bottom white part only)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 lime (preferably organic)
1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
3 serrano chilies, sliced
1/2 block firm tofu
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
cilantro for garnish
Use only the white bottom part of the lemon grass stalk (discard the woody part). With the flat side of a knife, pound and crush the lemon grass so that it releases the flavor. Cut into 2-inch segments.
Put the vegetable stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the lemon grass, zest from 1 lime, and ginger and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, onion, and chilies and simmer for another 5 minutes. Then add the tofu and vegetables. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked. The lemon grass, ginger, and chilies can be discarded before serving, or serve them for extra flavor in the soup.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over soup. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.