Vegan Red Curry Coconut Soup

IMG_1748I tend to troll food sites – a LOT. I have a few favorites and then I just stumble onto others. Before I make something new, I always try to find mutiple versions of the same thing and pick and choose from the ones I like best. And then I “tweak.” I am an unrepentant tweaker. The soup below started out as one I read on thekitchn.com website. They got it from Heidi Swanson who wrote Super Natural Every Day. I admit that I had never heard of her or her cookbooks, but I liked the sound of the recipe.

I did a little prep for the soup earlier in the day and then we were gone on a very long, very lovely and VERY HOT walk arriving home – starving! Thankfully, we were able to sit down to dinner within 30 minutes of arriving home and it was wonderful. It may seeem counter-intuitive to eat hot soup on a hot day, but people from hot climates do it all the time. I used a mild Indian Red Curry Paste and it gave us all the spice we wanted. If you are really into spicy foods, you could use a hot red curry paste, but honestly I think you will be masking some of the wonderful flavors. This dish is very satsifying and only needed some naan or pita to go with it. Give it a try – it’s a keeper.

Vegan Red Curry Coconut Soup

Yield: 4 dinner portions

Ingredients

14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Kosher salt

2 Tablespoons Indian red curry paste

3 Tablespoons coconut oil (or EVOO) plus a little more for the eggplant and tofu

3 large shallots, peeled and chopped

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch circles and then cut into quarters to form a triangular dice

1 Japanese eggplant, cut like the zucchini

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, with the skin, cut into small dice

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

2 cups vegetable stock

1 can (13.5 or 14 ounce) of regular coconut milk

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds lightly toasted in a dry skillet

2 to 3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. I used a large cast-iron skillet for this. Season the tofu cubes with a little Kosher salt and drizzle it with EVOO. (You could use coconut oil but I used EVOO). Place in the skillet and on medium high heat, allow the tofu cubes to get nice and brown. When one side is brown (about 5 minutes) turn the cubes over and toast the other side until the tofu becomes firm and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, brown the eggplant the same way (toss first with a little salt and EVOO) and set aside. Add the chopped zucchini to the eggplant.
  3. In a heavy soup pot ( I like ot use my Staub or Le Creuset for this) mix the red curry paste with the coconut oil and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Add the chopped shallots. Cook, stirring until the shallots begin to soften.
  4. Stirin the zucchini, eggplant and potatoes and stir well. Cook for a few minutes until the zucchini begins to get tender. Stir in the garlic.
  5. Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Because of the small dice 20 minutes was all I needed. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. To serve, dish out the soup and then toip with the tofu and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro.

NOTE: I toasted the tofu, the eggplant and the pumpkin seeds earlier in the day and set them covered on the counter (with the air conditioner going) until we returned home tonight to make dinner. I also chopped the other vegetables and had them ready although they took no time to chop. Then when I came home I started to cook and had dinner on the table within 30 minutes.

 

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