Judging by the amount of snow that fell in Southwestern Ontario this past weekend, it would seem winter is officially here.

snowfall

Winter is upon us

That means it is soup time.

May I suggest warming up indoors with a comforting bowl of Thai inspired soup that includes succulent mushrooms, earthy kidney beans and homemade [highlight]Thai Red Curry Paste[/highlight] simmered in a coconut broth? I highly recommend making your own paste for this soup because it really takes very little time at all and will keep in the fridge in a well-sealed jar for a few months – surely having it on hand will encourage you to cook up more delightful Thai dishes.

Thai Mushroom Soup

Thai Mushroom Soup

Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup with Kidney Beans

  • 1/2 cup dried red kidney beans (1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 14 oz can)
  • 1/2 oz (14 grams) dried mixed wild mushrooms
  • 13 1/2 oz (400 mL) can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, cut into quarters and crushed with a knife
  • 2 tablespoons dried kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • 1-inch piece fresh galangal or ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (soy) sauce
  • 2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, or to taste
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

If using dried red kidney beans, rinse and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender — about 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and chop. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the coconut milk, water, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves if using, galangal or ginger and tamari. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes to infuse the flavors into the broth, stirring often. Remove and discard the lemongrass pieces and kaffir lime leaves.

Add the dried and fresh mushrooms to the pan along with the Thai paste, corn, pepper, paprika, cayenne, kidney beans and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a bit more water if the soup is too thick for your liking. Stir in the lime juice and simmer for another minute. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve hot.

Yields 6 servings

Based in London, Ontario, a veteran vegetarian for 22 years serves up a collection of delicious culinary creations from her kitchen, with an emphasis on spicy Indian dishes. If you want to know what sensible vegetarians eat, Lisa's Kitchen is the place to be. All images and writing in this post are copyright Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen

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