Saturday, January 21, 2012

Soup Week: Let's Get It Done

We had a blizzard yesterday.  I'm a winter-hater, but there is something borderline magical about lots and lots of snow suddenly everywhere.  Awesome.  If it could all be gone by tomorrow, though, that'd be sweet.

Tomorrow is soup swap, so today was all about making soup.  It's best to make your soup in advance.  I know from experience that transporting 6 quarts of hot soup is tricky business.

The view from my kitchen.  Lovely,  huh?  Hands off, ladies.  It's all mine.

I'd intended to make the mushroom broth earlier in the week, but way led onto way and I ended up doing it today.  I was a lot more precise with the mushroom broth than I would normally be since I'm making it for other people--and because mushroom broth can be so yummy.  I wanted it to be that yummy.  I know a lot of people put seriously yucky veggies into their broth.  I confess I'm a bit picky.  If I can't imagine eating it without being grossed out, I don't add it.  I'm lucky to live a life where I can discard semi-yucky food.  I do have a secret compost fantasy about a time when I don't have to waste anything.  Ah, a girl can dream.

For soup swap, each person bring 6 quarts of frozen soup, swap, and then brings home 6 quarts of other people's delicious soups.  I always strive to make 7 quarts of soup so that I can have my own, too.  The first time I  participated, I made one super-giant crazy batch in my huge stock pot.  It was not successful.  It was a soup I'd made a zillion times and it was easily the worst version of it.  Since then, I do two batches.  I feel like I have better control over flavors and textures with the smaller batch.  Maybe someday I'll work up to bigger batches.  In the meantime, it takes longer.  Alas.

This Thai Coconut Curry Soup turned out to be a bit pricey to make.  I tripled the recipe, which meant 3 cans of coconut milk, 3 pounds of tofu and the curry paste.  I feel it was worth it.  This is perhaps the best soup I've ever made.  And since I take my soup swap money out of my food budget which spreads the cost out over 5-6 weeks, it usually works out just fine.

Mandatory additional ingredient for making 7 quarts of soup.

I believe the secret to awesomeness of this soup was in the quality of the curry paste and the tanginess of the lime juice.

I followed the recipe fairly closely, though I made a few changes.  I added the red bell pepper as part of the soup rather than as a garnish, used Bragg's Aminos instead of soy sauce, and increased the broth to account for the red pepper.  (I also couldn't get thai basil today.  I'm sure it would have a better texture than the sweet basil I used.)  In any case, winner, winner, vegan dinner, baby.

Gratuitous embroidery pics.

See you tomorrow with pictures from the Swap!

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