Thai Basil and Peanut Soup
Soup, how I have missed you!!
I’d kinda forgotten about soup. I don’t know how. It’s one of my favorite things to cook and eat. Ever. Ever. EVER! I’m aware of the weather. It’s been about 97,000 degrees out lately and it’s just going to get hotter. But, I just can’t help myself.
This is my take on a Thai-peanut-kinda-spicy-oh-so-good soup. And yes, I said peanut. Peanut butter, to be exact. Just trust me, it works.
To start, I raided the veggie drawers in the fridge. Cabbage, green beans, lemongrass, and chile peppers all made the cut (bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and greens could also be added, but you’re not missing out without them).
Then I went to the pantry. Found some peanut butter, ginger, liquid aminos (gluten-free soy sauce substitute – I ran out of the real stuff yesterday), and onion. Along with some tofu from the freezer, the veggies went into a soup pot with some coconut oil to cook away. A few minutes later, the peanut butter and other goodies went in. This soup came together in no time at all.
I added some veggie stock. Keeping things vegan today. A 30 minute simmer was all it took. If you’ve got less time, that would work too. Just cook until it tastes great to you.
In the last few minutes of cooking, I added the noodles to some boiling salted water. You can use whatever kind of noodles you prefer – I used soba, but rice noodles would be great too. You can totally add a little more liquid to the soup and cook the noodles that way. I thought about it, but wasn’t sure if we’d have leftovers and didn’t want to risk soup-logged noodles the second time we’d eat it. Since we’re trying to conserve water in the kitchen, I let the pasta water cool and dumped it on the lawn a few minutes ago (ahem – I have no idea if lawns like pasta water, so try at your own risk).
There are many things that you could do differently. As noted earlier, you could swap some of the veggies and you could use rice pasta if you want to go gluten-free. You could also use rice instead of pasta. It’d be a different soup, but I think it’d still be great. You could also add some coconut milk. I would have done this, but my grocery shopping was already done when I made up the recipe, so it was a use what I have on hand kinda day. However you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. We had it for lunch today and Tim said that it tasted like something you’d find at a fancy restaurant. Well, shucks, honey, that was a nice thing to say. (I agree… I may or may not have licked the bowl.)
- 2 T coconut oil
- 1 C tofu, chopped
- 1 C green beans, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-2 chiles, ribs and seeds removed (if desired), diced
- 1 C cabbage, chopped
- could also add: bell pepper, summer squash, carrot, broccoli, greens
- 2 stalks lemongrass, use only an inch or so from the bottom, tender inside layers, chopped
- to taste salt
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/4 t ground ginger (or 1/2 to 1 t fresh, diced)
- 1-2 T liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 1 T rice vinegar, divided
- 1/4 C peanut butter
- 4-6 C veggie stock
- 1/4 lb. soba noodles or rice noodles (or rice, cooked)
- 1/4 C Thai basil, chopped, some reserved for topping
- Heat soup pot, add coconut oil. When oil is hot, add tofu through salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic (and if using fresh ginger, add it now), cook for 1 minute. Add dried ginger (if using), soy sauce/liquid aminos, 1/2 T rice vinegar, and peanut butter, cook for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. During the last few minutes of the soup's cooking time, add the pasta to the water. Cook according to package's directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Remove soup from heat. Stir in Thai basil and remaining 1/2 T of rice vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- To serve, pile some noodles in a bowl and pour soup around them. Top with the reserved Thai basil.