Metrolpolitan Bakery Thai Vegetable Soup
This soup takes some time, and possibly a visit to the specialty food shop, but it’s worth it. Plus, you can freeze it for later.
4 cups vegetable stock 2 lime leaves 1 lemon grass stalk, top removed and cut in half lengthwise and into 2 inch pieces 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon galangal root, grated 2 small Thai chilies, stemmed, sliced thin 1 potato, peeled and diced small 1 cup Asian pumpkin or melon, peeled and diced small 1 carrot peeled, diced small 1 leek, white part only, washed and diced 2 celery ribs, washed, trimmed and diced small ½ teaspoon curry powder 2 tablespoons fish sauce 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 ½ cups green beans, stemmed and cut into fourths 1 ½ cups green beans, stemmed and cut into fourths 1 ½ cups broccoli florets 1 cup bok choy or mustard greens, shredded 12 ounces coconut milk 2 tablespoons each Thai basil, cilantro and mint, washed and roughly chopped Lime wedges ¼ pound cooked noodles for serving (optional), such as whole wheat or soba Combine vegetable stock and lime leaves in a small pan over medium heat. Lightly smash the lemongrass using a mallet to release the perfume and add to stock. Bring stock to a boil then reduce to a very gentle simmer for 20 minutes. Pour stock through a strainer and reserve. Discard lime leaves and lemongrass. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add garlic, galangal, celery, carrot and leeks. Cook for a few minutes to release their flavor then stir in potato, pumpkin and curry powder. Cook for a few minutes more, then stir in fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Cook until rice wine vinegar is reduced and absorbed by the vegetables. Stir in the reserved stock, chilies and coconut milk. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Add broccoli and green beans to boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove broccoli and green beans from water and add to the soup. Stir in shredded greens and mixed herbs. Remove soup from heat. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt. Ladle soup into serving bowls and place a small mound of cooked noodles in the center of the bowls (optional). Serve with a wedge of lime and some additional Thai basil leaves.
Chef’s Note: Lime leaves, galangal root, and Asian pumpkin or melon are available at most Asian supermarkets and some speciality stores. The lime leaves may be dried and kept in an airtight container for three months. The galangal root may be wrapped and kept in the freezer for one month.