Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vietnamese Syle Vegetarian Curry Soup

The other night, during our blizzard type weather, I wanted to make something with Lemongrass.  So I stumbled upon this Vietnamese Style Vegetarian Curry Soup - and was excited because I had everything I needed (minus the mushrooms, not a big deal). 

So I started to cut up my onions and scallions, then threw them in my wonderfully large soup pot.

As I was starting to gather up my spices to prep - garlic, ginger, lemongrass and curry - I realized I didn't have any curry!  So I turned the heat off on my onions, threw on my boots and hat and scurried to the closest corner market.  No curry.  I went down the way going in all the little stores - and no curry!  Feeling disheartened, I started to head back home trying to brainstorm what to use instead.  I remembered that I'll be passing by a handful (three to be exact) of Thai restaurants on my way home.  Surely, one of them would be willing to sell me a few tablespoons of curry, afterall, I have enough frequent Thai miles to actually make it to Thailand.  This is how the conversations (typically) went:

LT: Hi.  I know this is an odd request but could I buy four tablespoons of curry from you.
Restaurant:  Ummm.....  You want red curry?
LT:  No.  Four tablespoons of curry powder.  I'm making soup and forgot that I was out.
Restaurant:  Panang curry?
LT: Curry powder?
Restaurant: Red curry?
LT: Nevermind!

So I made it back home without curry.

(This is what my street looked like the next day...)

So I decided to use a little bit of all the red spices in my cabinet - Jamaican All Spice, Cumin, Chili and Cayenne Pepper.  I prepped them along with my fresh ginger, garlic and lemongrass.  If you've never used fresh ginger - I definitely recommend it.  It smells so good when you are slicing or grating it.  Just make sure to peel it, none of the recipes that I've ever read say that but it's an important step.

And threw it all into the pot and prayed to Buddah that'd it would be comparable!

Since I didn't really read the recipe before I decided to make it, now was when I realized I needed to have my red pepper, carrots and tofu ready to throw in.  Rough cut had an all new meaning this night!

I threw these in with some low sodium chicken stock and turned up the heat to get it boiling. 

This time I read ahead and prepped my potatoes during this time.

After adding the potatoes, a can of coconut milk and some red pepper flakes - I let simmer away while I sat and relaxed.

The finished product was delicious - although not very curry like at all.  It kind of reminded me a Jamacian/Thai vegetarian potato soup. 

I would post what I did - but I recommend trying the real recipe... 

NOTE:  It does make a lot of soup so be prepared - my pot was as a full as I'd ever seen it!


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