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Flavor First
October 2014

Serve in warm bowls garnished with fresh cilantro.About the writer


Thai Tomato Soup (Vegan)

Thai Tomato Soup (Vegan)
By Cheryl Forberg


Galangal (Thai Ginger)
Growing up in the Midwest, I was always intimidated by Thai food. The classic Thai flavoring ingredients: Galangal (Thai Ginger), Lemongrass (a citrus flavored herb) and Kaffir Lime Leaves (which are the most often used part of the plant) were not to be found anywhere on our grocer’s shelves back then.

Now that Thai food has become more mainstream, it’s much easier to find these ingredients. And for me, it doesn’t hurt that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where Thai markets and restaurants abound.

So many of us are trying to lose or maintain our weight, which can make cooking a challenge when we have to leave cream and butter out of the mix. These fats not only enhance the mouth feel or our recipes, but they also deliver creamy richness which can make an ordinary dish taste extraordinary.

Lemon Grass
But back to watching our weight; when we remove fat from our recipes, we sometimes need to compensate for this loss by kicking up the flavor. Herbs and seasonings are a great and simple add, but you can really expand your flavoring repertoire if you go global, which I love to do. Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Thai all have their own pantry of favorite seasonings which I love to keep in my kitchen.

Here is my spin on a simple Thai recipe that takes minutes to make. Hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I do.

Thai Tomato Soup (Vegan)

Because this soup will be puréed in the blender, it’s ok to chop everything roughly. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you could use three 15.5 ounce cans of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes. This could also be used as a sauce with grilled chicken or fish.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 pounds Fresh Tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Grapeseed or Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons Lemongrass, chopped (see note)
2 tablespoons Galangal, roughly chopped (see note)
½ to 1 cup Light Coconut Milk
½ cup Cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add tomatoes, shallots, lemongrass and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes are bubbling and heated all the way through.

Carefully transfer mixture to the jar of a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Depending on the size of your equipment, you may need to do this in two batches. Blend or process for at least one minute to ensure that the fibrous lemongrass and galangal are very well chopped. Pour mixture into a 2 quart saucepan.

Carefully transfer mixture to the jar of a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Depending on the size of your equipment, you may need to do this in two batches. Blend or process for at least one minute to ensure that the fibrous lemongrass and galangal are very well chopped. Pour mixture into a 2 quart saucepan.

Add coconut milk and bring to boil just to heat the coconut milk.

Add coconut milk and bring to boil just to heat the coconut milk.

Serve in warm bowls garnished with fresh cilantro.


Note:
Be sure to use only the bottom half of the lemon grass stalk and discard the top.

Note:
Galangal is Thai ginger. If you don’t have it on hand, you can use fresh ginger, but it won’t have the authentic Thai flavor.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup
Servings Six

Amount Per Servings
Calories 70
Fat Calories 15

Total Fat 2
Saturated Fat 1
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 5 mg
Total Carb 13 grams
Dietary Fiber 2 grams
Sugars 7 grams
Protein 2 grams
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 60%
Calcium 4%
Iron 4%