[*Hey, everybody! I got a great suggestion to post some of my fave old content from the past as this blog nears its 10,000th post. So, in no particular order… this originally appeared on May 13th, 2008 on my foodblog, which I can no longer remember how to access! (HELP ME TOPHERCHRIS!)]
My first solo soup, and I decided to be brave and improvise something using the ingredients and Thai spices I had on hand, and miraculously, it worked!
I began by heating some chicken stock I’d been given and mixed in a spoonful of Better than Boullion (because it roullions) to give it even more flavour. Then I added water and half a can of coconut milk, as well as a drizzle of truffle oil for some earthiness. Next, 3 or 4 tablespoons of powdered coconut (more if you have it), a good handful of dried lemongrass (leaving it long rather than cutting it was both an aesthetic and convenient choice - since I don’t eat them, they go back in the pot when I get to the bottom of each bowl), a handful of dried kaffir lime leaves, a few pinches of saffron, a pinch of ground galanga and a handful of slices of dried galanga root, about a tablespoon of sugar, a sprinkle of seasoning salt and fleur de sel, but not more than a sprinkle of each.
Because there was no lemon or lime or cilantro in the fridge, I settled for an envelope of lemon dill flavoring meant for a vegetable dip, which wasn’t as horrifying as I thought it might be. Dill is a serendipitous compromise, because I don’t really like cilantro, I didn’t miss it in the final product, and it went beautifully with the peanut flavours I added right at the end.
When it was time to be bold and add some heat, I spontaneously threw in a whole tablespoon of garlic chili paste, which is significantly hotter than I have ever made anything before, but it ended up being the right choice and balanced the sour flavours perfectly. I let the mixture come to a nice boil stirred in a bit more coconut milk before turning the whole thing down, putting the lid on and letting it quietly simmer overnight (this would be an ideal recipe for a crock pot).
This morning, I turned the heat back up to a low boil, put in the last of the can of coconut milk (a second can would rule) and then stirred in the finishing touch - about two tablespoons of old fashioned peanut butter (regular creamy-style would do, but be much sweeter, obvs).
The end result? Spicy, full of terrific Thai flavour, and amazingly delicious! A resounding - and IMPROVISED - Hezful success!!