Friday, June 15, 2012

Coconut Curry Soup

Another day, another vegan cooking experiment.  Today's triumph was a Coconut Curry Soup. 

My wife, Lisbeth, and I ate at Pita Jungle earlier in the week.  They were offering a Coconut Curry Soup with Garbanzo Beans as a special.  Normally I'm not a fan of the texture of whole garbanzo beans (or any whole beans for that matter - my veggie wrap had GIGANTIC lima-esque beans in it that I had to pick out... gross) but the garbanzos were pleasantly edible.  I'm not sure if a long simmer in the broth made them more palatable but the coconut and chili in the soup definitely complimented the garbanzos well. I knew this was my next vegan attempt.

My version was kicked up a notch with more veggies and more heat.

Here is the ingredient list:
1 can (14 oz) of light coconut milk
8 oz extra firm tofu, sliced into 3/4' x 1/4' pieces
1 tbs tamari
1 tspn light agave nectar
1 tbs fresh ginger, grated
green curry paste
1 red bell pepper
1 small leek
1 carrot
1 serrano chili pepper (or jalapeno)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14 oz) garbanzo beans
I'm still new to tofu and thought the tofu's texture would be too soft once it went in the soup.  To firm up the texture I sauteed the tofu pieces in a skillet lightly sprayed with grapeseed oil until they started to brown.  Once browned, they were removed from the skillet and set aside until needed.  This step is optional and wold depend on you preference. 

To prep for the soup slice up the bell pepper, leek, and carrot to your liking.  I kept the bell pepper and carrot pieces in a rather chunky dice but preferred the leeks thinly sliced.  Mince the serrano (I used about half and the dish came out fiery, but not too fiery), mince the garlic, and grate the ginger.

Pour the coconut milk, tamari, agave nectar, and garbanzo beans in a pot and bring it to a boil.  Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in a couple tablespoons of green curry paste, the grated ginger, and the minced garlic.  I put in about 4 tablespoons of curry paste because I prefer the heat but this will be to your preference.  I recommend starting with a couple tablespoons and tasting as you go.

Once the pot has simmered for about 5 minutes add the remaining veggies to the pot.  I added the serrano because I didn't think the curry paste was hot enough so use the additional chili at your own risk.  I didn't let the veggies simmer for long, just a couple of minutes, so they would retain some of their crunch.  Add the sauteed tofu and serve. 

This soup packed a flavor punch and some serious HEAT!  My intention was too add vegetable broth to the pot because I thought the coconut milk would be too intense but I didn't dilute it at all.  I think I like my version of the soup better than Pita Jungle's, too.        

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