Monday, May 19, 2008

Tofu & Basil Thai Soup

thai tofu-basil soupIf there's one thing I love about Thai food, it is the variety of flavor in their curries. A spoonful of red, green or yellow curry paste can add such a wonderful taste to an assortment of veggies! After mastering the recipe for Veg Tom Kha Soup, I decided to try a hand at this classic Thai Soup with Basil and Tofu. Its a very simple broth made of coconut milk and flavored with all the Thai herbs like lemongrass, galangal, kafir lime and ginger, coming together with the basil, tofu and peas to make this delicious and healthy soup.

Tofu, which is generally considered to be very bland, can miraculously take on the flavor of its surrounding ingredients making it a highly versatile as well as highly nutritious part of a healthy diet. Tofu is a very good source of protein, specifically soy protein, as well as numerous other nutrients like manganese, copper, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also an excellent source of calcium which can help prevent the accelerated bone loss and untimely rheumatoid arthritis. Basil comes with its own share of heart-healthy properties, and also acts as a great cleansing agent. Hence it would be a fitting entry to Susan's Beautiful Bones event, and also to Michelle's Herbal Essence!

Ingredients
1 cup firm tofu (cubed or diced)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup peas - boiled
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1 cup water (or veg broth)
2 tsp green curry paste (recipe below)
fresh lime juice - to taste

Green Curry Paste
2 green Thai chilies
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped shallots
1 tspn chopped galangal
1/2 tspn chopped kaffir lime rind
1 tspn chopped lemongrass
1/4 tspn roasted cumin seeds
1/4 tspn roasted coriander seeds
1/2 tspn salt

Add the green chillies to a food processor and blend. Then add the garlic and shallots. Again give a whirl on the mixer. Finally add all the remaining ingredients and blend well to form a thick smooth paste.

You can either use the recipe above or use the store-bought Thai green curry paste. I've tried the ones from Trader Joe's before and they are pretty good.

Method
In a heavy pan, add the green chilli paste with 2 tbsp of coconut milk and roast a bit. Add salt and lemon juice, then the rest of the coconut milk and water to form the base of the soup. Add half of the basil leaves, then cover and let it simmer for about 5-7 mins. Keep stirring in between to let the coocnut milk be infused with the flavor of the thai green paste and basil.

When it starts to simmer, add the boiled green peas and pieces of tofu. Now lower the heat and cook for another 7-8 mins. Check for taste and add more green chilli paste or lemon juice if required.

Finally, just before serving, add the remaining basil leaves. Top with some shredded ginger if you like and serve hot. The spicy green chilli paste adds a wonderful flavor to this Basil and Tofu soup, giving it a Thai touch. You can add more veggies like carrots, shallots, or baby corn to the soup to make it suit your taste. The Thai Green Chilli paste can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Similar Recipes:
Chinese Hot & Sour Soup
Green Pea & Mint Soup
Roasted Cauliflower & Bell-pepper Soup

No comments:

Post a Comment