Monday, March 9, 2015

To Lose Myself in a Bowl of Soup

There is something quite comforting about a bowl of soup.

Soups are simple and yet filling.

For this small town girl, soups are also my passport to the world beyond my humble kitchen. The fabulous options for online ordering allow me to purchase flavors not usually found in rural Oregon. With one click I can have an overnight box packed with dry ice and the flavors of Thailand, Japan or Korea dropped on my doorstep.

All from places that I visited while younger, but now are just a sweet daydream away when I am in need of a break from the insanity that is Motherhood. The sticky-fingers, runny noses and sharp cries for, "Mommy!" leave me needing a simple release.

I find release in the bottom of my soup bowl.

Now, to be perfectly honest it isn't always a soup bowl, but a plate, a mug or crock. Here on this blog I share my adventures and more than not they center around our food. Even while my feet are deeply rooted here on the farm, my mind and taste buds wander to more exotic locales.

I love eating seasonally, locally and consciously... but some days I want to throw all that out the window and invest my soul into a perfect bowl of Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp.

Yes, it is an investment. With every scallion I chop and shrimp I clean, I am invested in the dish I am making. That is what putting heart and soul into your food is all about. I only hope that my family tastes that with every bite.

Am I over dramatic? Possibly. I think everyone has their own passions in life and food, flavors and exotic ingredients are mine. With 3 small children the opportunities to travel abroad on a whim have passed. Maybe someday I can take that back up. But for now I will explore my world through the unique flavor profiles of far off countries.

I will lose myself in a bowl of soup filled with lemon grass, shrimp and red pepper flakes. I will remember the humid afternoons and the beaches of Thailand. I will hear the roar of the Tuk Tuks and the buzz of people waiting, packed onto the Skytrain platform in Bangkok.

My memories, these feelings and sensations are all simmered into my bowl of soup. Though I can't share with you my experiences, I can offer you a humble and tasty bowl of soup.

Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp

You Will Need:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. fresh ginger root, grated
  • 4 tsp. lemongrass paste
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (or more if desired)
  • 2 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veined 
  • 4 c. coconut milk
  • 2 c. Napa cabbage, finely sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • green onion, sliced thin for serving
In a large soup pot, saute the garlic, ginger and lemon grass with a little olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the curry powder and red pepper flakes and warm till fragrant. Then add the vegetable stock and bring up to a simmer. Last, add the shrimp, coconut milk and cabbage, bring back up to a simmer and and then remove from the heat. The cabbage should be softened slightly, but you don't want to overcook the shrimp.

Serve with lime wedges to squeeze on top and a pinch of fresh green onions and more red pepper flakes as desired.


What foods hold the strongest memories for you? What dish transports you to a different place or time in your life?

Pin It