"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?
spicy coconut shrimp soup
adapted from cooking light, march 2008
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.