I've always been a big fan of curries and soups so one day I thought "Why not combine the two and make a spicy curry soup?"
You can find Thai curry pastes in the Asian section of most grocery stores.
The most common varieties you will find are red, green, and yellow.
This recipe calls for the red variety.
Typical of most Thai foods, this soup features many contrasting yet complementary flavors and textures, including sweet butternut squash, fragrant basil, tart lime juice, spicy red curry paste and salty fish sauce (if you are vegetarian, you can leave out the fish sauce and still make a great soup.)
Creamy coconut milk adds substance to the soup making it ideal for lunch or a light dinner.
For an attractive garnish, try topping the soup with bean sprouts and chopped peanuts.
Spicy Thai Curry Soup
Tofu and Spinach with Peanut Sauce
Steamed Jasmine Rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and finely minced ginger
1 tablespoon thai red curry paste (or more if you like it really spicy!)
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 pound butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons thai fish sauce
salt and pepper
1 to 1-1/2 cups coconut milk
a good handful of fresh basil, cut into thin slivers
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot.
When hot, add the onions.
Cook the onions for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, without letting the onions brown.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds longer.
Mix the red curry paste with about 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock (you may need to use a fork to mash the curry paste into the stock depending on how stiff the paste is).
Add this mixture to the pot along with the remaining stock, green beans, butternut squash, sugar, and fish sauce.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Add the coconut milk, the juice from one of the limes and the fresh basil to the pot and allow the soup to heat through.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls.
Cut the remaining lime into wedges and serve alongside the soup.
Makes 4 to 6 servings