Bok Choi & Shiitake Thai Soup
We get really excited about the first produce of each new season – don’t you? Lucky us, we get to visit small organic and biodynamic farms on a regular basis and there, at the moment, it is all about new season bok choy, leek and fresh leafy herbs (such as coriander) (see our previous post about coriander).
Bok choy – or Chinese cabbage – is becoming increasingly available and popular in England, but we are still not very imaginative or creative when it comes to actually using it.
This recipe is our favourite Thai flavoured, partly cooked – partly raw soup: perfect for spring. Gives you plenty of energy, nourishment and fulfilment.
Don’t be scared off by a long list of ingredients – most of them are spices and are totally optional. It is up to you how far flavour-wise you decide to take it.
The broth will taste amazing anyway, as long as the key flavours are there- sweet from the veggies; salty and umami from tamari and mushrooms; sour from the vinegar and lime; and spicy from chilli and ginger – you are going to be fine:)
For the broth:
- 2 TBLS coconut oil
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2 shallots
- 1 leek
- 1/2 – 1 fresh red chilli
- 1 stem fresh lemongrass
- 1/2 inch fresh turmeric
- 1/2 inch fresh galangal (optional)
For the Cooked Soup:
- 200g fresh shiitake mushrooms ( you can also try using dried and rehydrated mushrooms)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 carrot
- 1 small sweet potato
- 2 TBLS tamari sauce
- 1 TBLS rice vinegar
- up to 500ml of water
- 1 can (400ml) organic coconut milk
- juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Raw Garnish:
- 1 bunch coriander
- 1-2 stalks fresh mint
- 1 head organic bok choy
- 1/2 bunch of spring onions
Start by pre-heating a soup pot or a pan over medium heat.
While it heats prepare your ingredients: finely chop the spices (ginger, garlic, shallot, leek, chilli, lemongrass, turmeric and galangal) and cut the carrot, red pepper and sweet potato into medium-sized cubes.
Add the coconut oil to the pan and sauté all the spices over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the flavours are released and the spices have become soft and fragrant. We don’t want spices to brown or caramelise – you can avoid this by sautéing the shallots and leek together with the rest of the spices as they tend to be quite juicy and ‘protect’ other spices from burning.
Then add thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms to the pan and sauté for another minute.
Add your cubed carrot, red pepper and sweet potato to the pan with the tamari, rice vinegar and water to cover the veggies. Simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes preferably with a lid on. Add coconut milk, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste, simmer for another 5-7 minutes, or till all the veggies are soft.
Whilst everything is simmering on low heat, finely chop the coriander and mint, roughly chop the bok choy and finely slice the spring onions.
To serve, pour the soup into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with abundant fresh herbs and bok choy – the fresher the better!