Soup Days, Day Two: Lemongrass Coconut Noodle Soup

I’m writing this in my Zumba outfit.  I came home a little frayed at the edges owing to a new instructor that likes to interject a shrill “Whoooo, YEAH!!!” into her routine every few minutes that make you jump in alarm, and enjoys flustering you by dancing up to you at stranger-danger closeness and staring you in the eye as she gyrates.  I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry, but I’m pretty sure I made a couple muffled noises that were something in between.

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Steamy bowl of goodness

I am so happy to be snuggled up now with a big bowl of this soup.

I love this soup.  It’s just enough spice, just enough heat, and retains a delicacy in flavor that plays well with others.  Without the noodles it makes a great start to a meal, and with them, it makes a great light dinner.  The cilantro lime oil is a fun way to add a layer of flavor, color and texture, as well as use up your cilantro stems (I hate wasting those).  And it adds a little sophistication if you’re serving this at a dinner party that makes people go “Ooo, lala, flavored oils!”.  Yep.

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Bruising lemongrass to release flavor

But best of all, it never yells “Whooooo, YEAH!” at you when you’re trying grapevine in peace…

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Cilantro lime oil and maitake mushrooms (but any will do)

Lemongrass Coconut Noodle Soup

Hands-On Time:  10 minutes
Total Time:  30 minutes
Serves 4

Gluten-free, all natural, vegetarian, easy, minimal mess

Special equipment: food processor

Ingredients

For the soup

8 ounces rice noodles (any kind, I used red rice noodles)
1 tablespoon neutral oil (such as grapeseed or peanut)
4 cups vegetable broth
4 oz / 113g  mushrooms (I used maitake, any mild fresh variety works), sliced (about 2 cups)
13.6 oz light coconut milk (1 can)
2 large leeks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk fresh lemongrass
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 – 2 dried (or fresh) red thai chilies (optional)
Salt to taste

For the cilantro lime oil
½ cup neutral oil (such as grapeseed or peanut)
1 bunch cilantro stems, chopped finely
Zest of one lime
Pinch of salt

Directions

For the soup: Cook your noodles according to package instructions, drain, toss with a little neutral oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat pan on medium-low and add oil.  After a moment, add in the leeks and saute for a couple of minutes.

Add in garlic, coriander, cumin and mushrooms and saute another couple of minutes.

Bruise lemongrass stalk several times with the blunt edge of a chef’s knife to release flavor.  Chop into rough sections and add to pan along with vegetable broth, chilies (if using) and a pinch of salt.

Increase temperature to high and allow to boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the cilantro oil, combine all ingredients in a small food processor or prep machine and blend for 20 – 30 seconds or until well incorporated.

To assemble: add cooked rice noodles to your soup pan to heat momentarily.  Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle over a spoonful of cilantro lime oil.

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Categories: Coconut, Gluten-free, Lemongrass, Mushroom, Soup, Thai, Vegetarian

Author:Mae of Little Fig

Food blogger, photographer. I

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  1. 3-Carrot Soup | little fig food blog - November 28, 2012

    [...] thriftiness was passed down to me (see cilantro stem oil), and now when J tells the story of how we leave for vacations with a fridge so devoid of [...]

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