Trying New Things: Coconut Curry Soup

There are some things that I see in recipes that immediately send me running for the hills. Included in that list is gelatin, almond flour and, until recently, fresh ginger. The almond flour is especially unfortunate, because I would really like to make macaroons one day. I’m not sure what it is, other than the obvious fact that I’ve just never tried it before, but I will usually just automatically reject a recipe with certain ingredients or processes. Now, there are not many things on this list, and I’m usually pretty ambitious otherwise, but I thought it was time to get past it. And what better way than facing one of my fears than facing it in a big, spicy way.

I really like Coconut Curry Soup. I had it for the first time at Corner Bakery (I know, not quite exquisite Thai cuisine), and I never looked back. It’s this powerful soup that is spicy and sweet, and just very unique. I just really, really like it! I’ve looked up recipes before, but that ginger just always seamed like it was expensive and a lot of work. It turns out that ginger is actually none of those things!

I found fresh ginger at Whole Foods for about $3 a pound. A pound is a LOT of ginger, so it was less than a dollar for what I needed for this recipe. IMG_5451
It also was pretty easy to prepare. That skin on the outside is a lot like me: looks a lot tougher than it is! All you do is take a sharp knife and cut off the larger nubs. Then use the back of a spoon to easily scrape off the thin skin. Then you are free to slice, grate or chop the ginger for whatever you need. Who knew?!
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And then there was soup!
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*   *   *
Coconut Curry Soup

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup red curry paste (I found it at Whole Foods)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 (13.5-ounce) cans light coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced, peeled, fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups shredded carrot
1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1/2 pound uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken into 3 inch pieces
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Add curry paste , and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add brown sugar, and cook 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, broth, juice, ginger and soy sauce.
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Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add carrots and pasta, and cook for 6 minutes. Add beans, and cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Enjoy!
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