The other day I had to venture out of my comfort zone. I live in a small town and I believe the population is about 15,000 people. What’s really cool about this town is that when you pull out onto the main street, there is no waiting, there is very little traffic. You do have to check left and right though as it is a one way street and on occasion someone comes down the road going the wrong way. There is a draw back to this easy living. There is no Whole Foods Market, no Asian grocers, no really good organic produce stands and no large mall (we’ve got lots and lots of oranges and grapefruit trees). For those things I have to drive into Orlando but I will say I haven’t lost my big city driving skills. Look out, the demon woman driver is on the roads and on a mission to find curry leaves. Ramona at Curry and Comfort uses curry leaves in a lot of her recipes and I want to know what they taste like. If you’ve never stopped by her site please do, you will be glad that you did.
I wasn’t able to find curry leaves but I did find some lemongrass. Lemongrass makes a really wonderful tea but also makes for a delicate soup base. Hey, Someone just tweeted me while I was writing this with a link for curry leaves.
Once again I searched the Internet for a vegetarian lemongrass soup but mainly they include chicken or have a chicken base and others had shrimp. I had a wonderful lemongrass soup at a Thai restaurant a couple years ago when I was in New York. It was light and spicy but also had shrimp. I picked the shrimp out and gave them to my sister. I have based this on what I can remember from that dish.
Chop the lemongrass into 2 inch pieces and then slice down the center, add to the soup pot along with the broth and coconut milk, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil and them simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Once the broth is done simmering you will want to strain it through some cheese cloth. The lemongrass stalks are not edible, I found that out the hard way.
Bring the broth back to a simmer and add the mushrooms, snow peas and the rice noodles. You can add the lime juice e at any time. I added it in the beginning and them some at the end before serving. Simmer until the noodles are soft. Garnish with grated ginger or scallions.
2-3 stalks fresh lemongrass
3-4 dried red peppers
1 inch ginger sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced (optional)
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup fresh coconut milk if you can find it
6 oz tofu cubes
handful of snow peas
handful of mushrooms sliced
rice noodles about 4oz
juice of half a lime or more
grated ginger, scallions, lime slices for garnish
This is pretty spicy so you may not want to add too many dried red peppers. I love the spice and if you’re cold the heat will warm you up. I hope that you like it.