Monday, March 31, 2008

Thai Tom Ka Soup

So for weeks I have been obsessed with Thai food. I can't seem to get enough of it. I think about it during the day, dream about it at night, and talk incessantly about it to those who are in ear shot and willing to listen. So, the past few times I have been in San Diego I have visited my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant called MeChai Thai. The food there is delicious. I can't thank Tyler and Katie enough for taking us there for the first time. The two things I always order are Tom Ka soup with Chicken, and Green Curry with Beef. Tom Ka soup is a red curry soup made with coconut milk, and Green Curry is pretty self explanatory. I have vowed to myself that I will never learn to make Green Curry because I want it to be a special thing that Garrett can always take me out on a date for:) Tom Ka soup on the other hand is a different scenario.

The Thai restaurant in Mammoth ("There is a Thai restaurant in Mammoth?" you say...) isn't that great. Garrett has taken me there twice during the pregnancy for a Green Curry fix, but I must admit is has been anticlimactic. I don't know if it's the outrageous price or if it's lack of ethnic feel, but something makes it fall short. And on top of that, they don't serve Tom Ka soup!

This devastatingly sad circumstance lead me to pursue a recipe for Tom Ka soup so that I could meet my own Thai need. I looked all over and even found a web-site named U Can Cook Thai . I wasn't satisfied with any of the recipes I found, they all seemed incomplete to me, so I did what any pregnant woman would do to fulfill her craving, I made it up as I went along.

Disastrous as it could have been, and probably should have been, the soup turned our wonderfully. I was so happy that I actually cheered, clapped and attempted to jump up and down. (Attempted is the key word, I am 8 months pregnant!)

So I decided to share the recipe I came up with in hopes that some of you will try a wonderful ethnic meal. I am sad to admit that I have no pictures of this great success, unlike my great friend Lydia who seems to always have her camera when undertaking a cooking challenge. However, I think her inspiration came from the Pioneer Woman, but that's another story.

So here it is...

Thai Tom Ka Soup with Chicken
2 Tbs. Cooking Oil of choice
1 medium Yellow Onion sliced
3 chopped cloves of Garlic
3 small stalks of Lemon Grass cut and smashed (keep large enough so it's easily picked out)
2 1/2 Tbs. of Red Pepper paste (depending on how spicy you like it. This was about a 5)
3 Limes zested
4 c or 2 14.5 oz. cans of Chicken Broth
2 Chicken Breasts cubed
8 oz. quartered Crimini Mushrooms
2 small sliced Zucchini
1 1/2 c chopped Carrots
1 lrg. Green Bell Pepper chopped
2" piece of Ginger cut into matchsticks
1 14.5 oz. can Baby Corn
1 sm. can Bamboo Shoots
1/3 c of Lime Juice
2 14.5 oz cans of Coconut Milk
1 c Water
6 Tbs. Fish Sauce

Heat the Oil in a large stock pot over med to med-high heat. Add. Onion, Garlic, Lemon Grass, Red Pepper Paste and Lime Zest and cook until fragrant, and the onions are translucent. About 5 minutes.

Add Chicken Broth and bring to a boil.

Add cubed Chicken Breasts and boil until almost cooked through, about another 5-7 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients, stir and return to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 25-45 minutes. The longer the soup simmers the more the ingredients mingle and get happy!

I must say that this soup made for one happy pregnant lady and for one happy husband. I can't wait to eat it for left-overs tomorrow:)

In pregnancy news, everything is good. I'll update on that soon. I promise