Gaeng Khae (Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup)
This medicinal soup
from the north of Thailand is believed to prevent and reduce colds and fever. The flavorful base is a hand-ground paste of chiles, garlic, lemongrass, and shallots. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Serve with brown or red rice.
- 15 dried chiles de arbol or Japones chiles
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 stalks lemongrass, minced
- 2 shallots, minced (½ cup)
- 1 tsp. red miso
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 ½ cups sliced beet greens, Swiss chard, escarole, turnip greens, or kale
- 1 cup turnip or fennel chunks
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup firm tofu chunks
- 1 cup coarsely chopped arugula
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley
To make Chile Paste:
1. Soak chiles in bowl of boiling water 30 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and finely chop.
2. Combine garlic and salt in mortar, and pound with pestle. Add lemongrass, shallots, miso, and chiles, pounding and crushing after each addition to make thick paste.
To make Soup:
3. Bring broth to a boil in saucepan over high heat. Stir in soy sauce and Chile Paste. Add beet greens, turnip, and mushrooms, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes. Add tofu, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in arugula, mint, and parsley, and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, or until herbs wilt.
January 2010 p.72