Thursday, May 31, 2012

Asian Veggie Soup

Soup is one of those meals that I can't help ordering even if summer is in full swing outside. It is a staple of my diet all year long and I love to come up with some different ideas from standard chicken noodle and the Italian soups like Pasta Fagioli I ate growing up. I have tried to make Tom Yum soup a few times but I always get discouraged because it doesn't taste "right" and it takes so long and uses hard to find expensive ingredients. Sometimes its easier and cheaper just to order take out! This soup is a take on Tom Yum and other south east Asian soups but it uses  ingredients that are easier to find at the ethic market. Since I am a believer in sweating out the heat, this soup base is great for summer time!

I used boxed chicken broth to make this base but please feel free to take the homemade route and either make your own chicken stock or be even more traditional and go for a shrimp stock. If you are interested in making an authentic bowl of Tom Yum check out the directions on Chez Pim.  You can make a million different version of this soup - noodles or none, chicken, shrimp, veggies etc so feel free to add or subtract as you of my favorite treats is pre-made frozen dumpings! The basic broth is really versatile and can pull together all those "why did I buy this?" ingredients that are starting to sag in the crisper drawer.

Click through for the recipe!

Asian Veggie Soup
2 stalks lemon grass
3 gloves garlic
1" ginger slices
2 boxes chicken broth
14 oz can diced tomato
3 carrots - long thin slices
1/2 onion - diced
3 celery ribs  - diced
1/2 jalepeno - finely diced
1/2 red pepper - thin slices
1 tsp chili garlic paste ( thai chili sauce)
1 tsp siracha "cock" sauce
juice of 1 lime

1 c diced cooked chicken  and/or shrimp (the shrimp can be raw just be sure they are pink before serving)
1 box (about 10 oz) sliced mushrooms
3 baby bok choy
1 c mung bean sprouts
1 c rice/noodles/quinoa (I used left over quinoa but any starch would be good)

serve with:
3 scallions - finely diced
1/4 c cilantro
4 slices of lime

1) start the broth my combining chicken broth, tomato, garlic . ginger and lemon grass -- let simmer at lest 30 + min together (you may want to fish lemon grass out at this point as it can be very fiberous)
2) add hard veggies  (carrot, onions, celery, peppers)and let come to boil - simmer till soft
3) flavor broth w lime and chili sauce to taste - reduce heat to low simmer
4) add the quick cooking veggies & chicken or shrimp - let come back to simmer
5) serve w scallions. cilantro and lime to taste (and more cock sauce if desired to spice it up)