Monday, April 25, 2011

Magic Soup 2


Some of you may remember my first set of instructions for magic soup. It isn't really a recipe as much as it is an assembly outline, but it makes a tasty, attractive looking, light meal very quickly.

2 cups soup stock
1/2 block tofu, cubed
1/2 a dried kaffir lime leaf
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 lemon
a couple slices of ginger

simmer everything together for maybe 10 minutes, tops. Throw out the lemon. Serve topped with:

minced cilantro
green onions
a few sliced sugar peas
a couple little tomatoes
a pinch of toasted garlic chips
sesame oil

a couple things-

1. I used firm tofu. Soft is fine, but it tends to disintegrate with boiling.
2. You can use all sorts of veggies, but since you aren't actually cooking them, stick with delicate varieties. Sugar peas, mung bean sprouts, jicama, red or yellow bell peppers, these all have the same sweet/crunchy combination which is a good contrast to the tart soup and the soft tofu.
3. I used a spoon of broth concentrate for stock. It's totally legit, in my book.
4. You could probably do this vegan. Use veggie stock and swap soy for the fish sauce. If you do though, don't skip the garlic, and probably not the tomatoes. Both those things have high concentrations of amines which will give you a more satisfying flavor in the absence of meat protein.
5. Fresh herbs! 

This soup was brought on by remembering vietnamese hot & sour soup at Dalat. They put pineapple, bean sprouts, shrimp, mushrooms and other stuff in it, which sounded perfectly horrid the first time somebody told me about it. It's delicious though. I suspect that they use white pepper to season their soup, which I don't have, so I skipped the spicy thing this time around. Don't let that stop you though, if you likes the hot, go for whatever strikes your fancy.

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