Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fragrant Lime Leaf Soup


Asia is famous for its vast array of soups and this one is going to blow your taste buds away.  Loosely based on Malaysian laksa, this particular soup combines several southeast Asian flavors such as peanut, lime leaf, coconut, cilantro and basil, into one darn good bowl.

The soup is fairly easy to make as it is pretty much left on the stove and cooks itself.  Some ingredients may be hard to find though, so if making this dish you may want to shop at an Asian market instead of a regular grocery store (unless you have an amazingly stocked international section at your local supermarket). 

Kaffir lime leaves add a beautiful fragrant aroma to any dish. Like bay leaves, you steep them in broth and then throw them out.  They sometimes are sold with their thorns still so be careful! 






For 4-6 servings

Soup

  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 long chilly pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 handful of cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 1 handful of Thai basil, washed
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar

To serve/garnish

  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Rice noodles
  • Fresh Thai basil
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped scallions

Method:

  1. In a large soup pot, combine vegetable stock, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and lime leaves.  Boil for 10 minutes so that the lemongrass and and ginger infuse the broth.
  2. Add peanut butter, chili peppers, cilantro, basil, turmeric, tomato paste, soy sauce and sugar, and boil for an addition 10 minutes. 
  3. Pick out lemongrass stalks and lime leaves and discard.
  4. In a separate pot boil rice noodles until soft. 
  5. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  6. Place a desired amount of rice noodles, and bean sprouts in a bowl and ladle the broth over top. 
  7. Garnish with fresh Thai basil, cilantro, chopped scallions and a lime wedge on the side.

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