Thai Coconut & Jasmine Rice Soup

Source: Enlightened Soups
Serves: 6 – 8

spoonful

Have you ever gotten a big bowl of that steamed jasmine rice at a Thai restaurant? Where it’s all sticky and smells kind of salty and sweet and nutty at the same time? And the giant bowl is always way too full with rice, but you have to physically restrain yourself from eating every last grain because it is just so warm and good? This soup is kind of like that.

I had to hit the store for a few specialty ingredients for this recipe, and the little bit of extra expense was totally worth it. The light coconut milk smelled just like a Thai restaurant (I’ve never been to Thailand, so how would I know what the country smells like? A restaurant is as good as it gets on a limited budget.), the Asian fish sauce was just the right hint of salty-exotic, the serrano chile was the perfect amount of heat, and the Thai red curry paste added so much flavor that I almost want to use it in everything I make now. And also, jasmine rice is heavenly.

This soup is good, people. Really good. It also makes a ton; Terwilliger and I had it for two meals together, and I ate it for lunch five days in a row. It can be easily halved if you’re not looking for leftovers.

Adaptations: Substitute 1/2 lb. cooked, peeled shrimp for the tofu for a seafood kick. Or substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce to make it a vegetarian dish.

Ingredients:

1 C. uncooked jasmine rice
2 14 oz. cans light unsweetened coconut milk
4 C. low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 C. thinly sliced mushrooms
1 T. lemon zest
3 T. Asian fish sauce (naam pla)
3 T. peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, sliced into rounds
2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 of a 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and diced*
1/2 C. thinly sliced green onions
1/3 C. thinly sliced basil
3 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 C. fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare the jasmine rice: Put rice in saucepan and rinse in several changes of water. Combine rice and 1 & 1/2 cups of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

While rice cooks, combine the coconut milk, broth, mushrooms, lemon zest, fish sauce, ginger, chile, curry paste, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Add the tofu, green onions, basil, lime juice, and cooked rice. Cook 5 minutes longer to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with the cilantro leaves.

*If I were to make this soup again, I would take an extra step here and brown the tofu in a saucepan or bake it in the oven with some soy sauce to give it a little more oomph. It was fine on its own, but I think it would be killer with a little more flavor.

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