Okay, okay, I know - it's pretty obvious that I like soups...okay, I LOVE soups (and noodles)...but this one seriously makes my heart want to explode with joy. It's spicy, refreshing, and extremely addicting. You wont want to substitute any spices in this soup - so make sure you are getting authentic Thai chili's, large stalks of lemongrass, and fresh lime leaves. All of which can be purchased at your local Asian marketplace. This soup is extremely healthy, loaded with plant based protein, vegetables, and healthy carbohydrates (use brown rice noodles!)
I hope you enjoy it as much as we have! Remember to get creative in the kitchen - use the vegetables you have on hand, or switch up the garnishes from time to time. Overall I don't think you can go wrong with this soup.
Vegan. gluten-free. oil-free.
Serves 4 sm bowls or 2 lrg bowls
Materials needed: parchment paper, cheesecloth or fine-strainer
1, 32 oz vegetable stock (I prefer Pacific brand)
1-2 c. filtered water (depending on spice level)
2-3 lrg lemongrass stalk, cut into sections
Lime leaves, handful
2 tbsp. liquid aminos or low-sodium tamari
1 lrg yellow onion, with skins, cut into quarters
4-5 garlic cloves, whole in skins
1/2 c. chopped carrots
10-12 Thai chili's, smashed with side of the knife (as you would garlic)
1" x 1" piece of fresh ginger
1" x 1" piece of fresh galangal (Thai ginger)*
1-2 limes, juiced, set aside
1 lime, sliced into quarters
1 stalk celery
2 baby bok choy
1 c. cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 pkg. cremini mushrooms
1/4 c. garlic chives
1/4 c. Thai basil
1 tofu, firm, cut into bite-sized pieces (baked at 410 degrees on parchment paper for 35 min)
1 box brown rice noddles, maifun or phad Thai style, soaked in hot water, drained
In a medium size soup pan, start heating up a little bit of stock, add your lemongrass, lime leaves, liquid aminos, yellow onion (including skins), garlic cloves (including skins), carrots, Thai chili's, celery stalk, and both kinds of ginger. Saute for 5-7 minutes, adding more stock as needed. Once your onions are translucent, add remaining stock and 1-2 c. water, according to taste. Bring to a roaring boil for 5 minutes. While the stock is boiling, remove your mushroom bottom and the ends of the zucchini and boy choy. Toss these into the stock as well. Next, add your tomato paste and cherry tomatoes. Let the stock simmer for 30 min at a minimum, an hour or more however is recommended. Pour in your lime juice, according to taste, more for a sour flavor, less for a savory flavor. Mash your tomatoes in the soup, making certain they have opened up (essentially, popped) Steam your vegetables of choice (I've chosen bok choy, mushrooms, and zucchini today) on the side.
Using a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer; strain your broth through to discard the large stock ingredients. You could also you a slotted spoon to do this - but - I prefer using a cheesecloth or strainer.
Place your stock to the side, ladle bowls with noodles, steamed vegetables, tofu, stock, and top with garlic chives, and Thai basil. Serve immediately with extra lime wedges.
*Note: a must-have ingredient, not to be confused with generic ginger, although both are used in this soup
Nutritional Highlights: Thai chili's are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, B6, copper, and Vitamin C.