In Season: Wicked Thai Tofu Coconut Soup

In Season: Wicked Thai Tofu Coconut Soup
Jennifer Woods

Lately, in this In Season series, we're taking a look at what I take home from Crooked Sky Farms each week and see what I've done with my CSA share, or part share. This week I'm using up my IQF (individually quick frozen) red peppers, cilantro and you can wilt any greens into this soup.

You might be wondering if this In Season series is turning into a soup series. Well, it might seem like it but soups are so dang comforting, frugal, and provides the perfect warmth for our cool winter nights. Soups usually freeze/hold well so that you can make a big batch and eat it for days. I love soup. Here's one I made this week after stumbling upon a recipe that piqued my interest.

While cruising around on Pinterest, I saw a picture of this Wicket Thai Chicken Soup. It was supposed to be a play on the creamy curried chicken and wild rice soup but I just thought it looked like a gingerless Tom Kha Gai with tomato and rice. I forgot to add the rice so this really should be called Easy Tom Kha Gai with Tomato. I kept the wicked title and then substituted cubed firm tofu for the chicken.

Here's the recipe. Don't freak at the long list of ingredients, they're fairly common and if you don't have them all, don't worry about it. Just try to have most of the key ones. Look out, it's dangerously good, I ate two bowls the first night I served it.

Wicket Thai Tofu Soup
serves 6ish

2 Tbsp. neutral-flavored vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, diced (this was my IQF pepper from a few months ago)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (I measured out 1 ½ cups of my dried gourmet mushroom mix, reconstituted and used those - I also added the mushroom reconstituting liquid)
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
1 16 oz packaged of firm tofu, cubed
2 tablespoons Gourmet Garden™ Lemon Grass herb paste (I'm trying to use up my tube, it's almost past code)
1 teaspoons Worcestershire or fish sauce
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried chile flakes, more or less depending on who you're serving (I use my container of dried crushed chiles made from Crooked Sky Farm's dried chile ristra)
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup coconut milk
salt, to taste
a few handfuls of cleaned chopped soft greens (like spinach, chard or mustard)
Fresh cilantro, parsley or basil leaves shredded for garnish

Heat your soup pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and brown the mushrooms. Add the additional tablespoon of oil as well as the onion and red pepper, and cook until soft. Add the broth, lemongrass paste, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, tomato paste and bring to a boil. Stir the cornstarch with a splash of water until smooth and add to the pot. Once thickened, turn down the heat to simmer and add the half and half, coconut milk and make sure the soup doesn't boil. The cream will curdle if boiled furiously. Taste for seasoning. I added quite a bit of salt but that might not work for you if you have health or bloat concerns. Just taste with a clean spoons and add pinches of salt until it tastes good to you. Add the tofu and let it warm through. If you have any soft greens hanging out in the fridge like spinach or chard, toss those in now and let wilt.

Top with cilantro or basil before serving and listen to the sound of happy eaters.

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