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Thursday, April 14, 2011

spicy coconut shrimp soup


"i have an affection for those transitional seasons, the way they take the edge off the intense cold of winter or heat of summer. but i often think that spring + autumn would completely lose their charm without the extremes of weather in winter + summer." ~How to Make an American Quilt, by Whitney Otto

since self diagnosing myself as a lactard last year, i've become quite besotted with coconut milk. i like it in my ice cream, it's got just the right amount of creaminess to it that is required of this treat but somehow, i feel like it's healthier. (despite contradictory studies that say coconut milk & oil are bad for you.) and for any creamy soups, i add a can of the stuff. my thought process: my ass has not grown astronomically in the last year so the hoopla talk about different fats and bad cholesterol etc have to be wrong, right?

moderation is masterbation key.

spicy coconut shrimp soup

note: i find cooking light recipes to be refreshingly cute, but lacking sometimes in full on bold flavors, which, i guess, is the point. if i were to make this again, i would go balls to the wall with the lime juice and red curry paste. this is also the kind of soup that is perfect in the dead of winter but completely acceptable in the heat of summer, and of course, fine in between. it's warm and cool, light but substantial.

3 1/2 cups veggie stock, comprised of half an onion sauteed, three carrots and some crushed garlic cloves
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh galangal
1 heaping Tablespoon red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
3/4 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

in keeping up with my Lent restrictions, i originally was going to use just water but dw demurred so i made a very quick veggie stock. in a bit of oil, saute up half an onion, extremely rough chopped until slightly caramelized. throw in a few crushed garlic cloves, whole and carrots, peeled and again rough chopped. salt/pepper and add in about 3 1/2 cups water. bring to a boil. discard veggies, or in my case, give to dw to nibble on while i finish up the rest of the cooking process.

throw in the subsequent 6 items into the stock, bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. stir in coconut milk; cook 2 minutes or until hot. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. stir in lime juice and basil leaves, garnish with green onions.


  1. Your assessment of CL recipes being a bit on the bland side is spot on. You definitely need to go big with the spices.

    I agree with Cooking Lite; and I have to do big spice, nothing else will do. This I will have to try, thanks for the recipe! Lovely pics, too.

  3. lol. First time I have heard the term "lactard". Love it. Good luck with your meat-free Lent commitments. "balls to the wall with the lime juice and red curry paste" = comic gold. I hope you wear protective garments and/or don't have sensitive skin. I agree with the Hog, your blog is a smashing good read.

  4. I love your food musings. <3 C

  5. Lan, that soup looks delicious! I'm pretty sure I have the issue of CL that recipe is featured in... I remember thinking that it looked delicious! Lately, I've been craving coconut flavored stuff, too! I really want to buy some coconut oil and experiment with that in cooking. Hope your weekend is going GREAT!

  6. wendi, and yet i am constantly checking out CL recipes!

    hogger, thank you, i hope you like it.

    bunny, thank you kindly, food shouldn't be taken that seriously. alright fine, food writing shouldn't be taken so seriously. :)

    casie, you are sweet, as always.

    linnea, coconut oil is a great alternative to veggie oil and if you're going to be doing something in really high temp, use it in lieu of olive oil.

  7. Hi - why are you angry? Eating your great food should make you really happy and chilled. I love coconut shrimp soup - I love food!!!