Sort of Thai Coconut Soup...

This is one of my very favorite soups to make.  It has become a comfort food for me, and since it is like a blizzard outside, dampening my hope of an early Spring, I feel the need for something warm and yummy.  I love the flavors in this: coconut, lime, garlic, and ginger.  It is far from authentic, but it fills me up and it smells divine!  I am in love the thin slices of mushroom and carrot.  Ever since I quit eating meat, mushrooms have kind of filled the meat slot in my life.  They have a hearty, hefty kind of texture that mimics meat and fills me up.  This is for sure a family favorite too, the kids love the noodles, and the hubby keeps asking when I will be making coconut noodle soup...he doesn't want to miss it!

This is an inexact recipe, I constantly change it based on what I have available, but I will give you my favorite version.  You can switch up the noodles; I vary back and forth between udon, soba, and rice noodles.  They each lend a slightly different texture that changes the soup considerably.  Thick, flat rice noodles would make this a fantastic gluten free meal.  Feel free to add tomatoes or thin slices of onion, omit the carrots, switch up the greens, this works well with different veggies.  Mixing it up is my favorite way to cook.  Just have fun!!!

backyard farmgals

1 quart vegetable stock or chicken stock (homemade is best)
2 cups water
1 can coconut milk
3 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
1 two-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
2 kaffir lime leaves (you can find them dried in the asian section of the market)
1 large piece of lemon grass, split lengthwise
2 carrots, sliced very thin (I use a mandolin)
15 large cremini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced very thin
2 heads of baby bok choy, roughly chopped
4 large Italian kale leaves, roughly chopped
Handful of fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sesame oil
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste 
Package of udon noodles, cooked and drained according to package directions


In a large stockpot, combine stock, water, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, lime leaves and lemongrass stalks.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium.  Add carrots and mushrooms, allow to cook 5 minutes.  Add pepper flakes, sesame oil, pepper and salt.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Add baby bok choy and kale, turn heat to low, allow greens to wilt.  Remove lemongrass pieces and lime leaves. 

Place the noodles in bowls and ladle the soup over the noodles.  You can add a dash of sesame seeds and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you like.  Top with thinly sliced basil, grab a pair of chopsticks and slurp away.  Don't worry, I won't tell anyone that you made slurping noises!!!


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