Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thai-style Vegetable Noodle Soup

Cooks will say that in order to make an authentic Vietnamese or Thai noodle soup, I'd probably be using fish sauce, oyster sauce, or fish broth. Ha!

Well, I'm sure some foodie purist would take issue with my mix of ingredients, both authentic and not entirely authentic, but the fun part of this recipe is being able to use what you can find (I, for one, would have loved to add lemongrass, but couldn't find any stalks in my neighborhood, and wasn't venturing further out in Queens in get some)- I picked up my favorite Asian vegetables, and omitted the red-hot Thai chillies that my honey won't touch. I also scored at my grocery store with smoked garlic tofu- it was quite good, and I'm surprised any tofu made it into the soup after I opened that package! You can also feel free to add some coconut milk- I left this out because I wanted a lighter soup.

This was totally what I needed on the random cold days we had earlier in the week. I'll go back to thinking about Thanksgiving dishes once I get through this giant vat of soup :)

The Whats:

* 3 tbsp. olive oil or peanut oil
* 1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
* 1 5 oz. pkg. smoked tofu, diced
* 2 heads baby bok choy, chopped
* 3 scallion stalks, sliced
* 1 medium daikon, peeled and sliced
* 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
* 2 tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
* 2 tsp. Thai basil, chopped
* 1/4 cup rice vinegar
* 1/4 cup tamari
* 2 tbsp. sesame oil
* 1/2 tsp. crushed chili paste
* 1 inch piece ginger, grated
* 2 large garlic cloves, grated
* 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
* 2 cups water
* 1/2 an 8 oz. pkg of uncooked rice noodles

The Hows:

1) In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and tofu to the pot and cook for 4 or 5 minutes until mushrooms have softened and tofu just starts to brown.

2) While mushrooms and tofu cook, whisk together the rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, chili paste, ginger, and garlic. Set aside.

3) Add the vegetables, cilantro, Thai basil, and half the marinade to the pot; cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and broth. Mix together and wait until the liquid simmers before stirring in rice noodles. Cook soup for 10 to 15 minutes, before veggies soften. Serve hot, with a drizzle of sesame oil if desired.

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