A hearty vegetarian soup.
4 cups of nam sup (stock)
1" cube fresh ginger
3 stalks lemon grass
4-5 red or green Thai chili peppers (prik ki nu)
1/2 cup tomato flesh
2" length cucumber
3 tablespoons lime juice
half teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
salt and sugar
1 medium sweet potato
2 medium carrots
3 tablespoons tao jiao (fermented soybeans)
2 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
1 tablepoon lime juice
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup chinese cabbage, sliced
mint, cilantro, basil, for garnish
Peel the ginger and slice it about an eigth of an inch thick.
Discard the tops of the lemon grass stalks, and slice off the base
of the stem, then bruise the stems (by placing them on the work
top and hitting them with the flat of the cleaver blade). similarly
bruise the chillis.
Bring the stock to a simmer and add the ginger, lemon grass and
chillis, and simmer for 15 minutes. remove and discard the ginger,
lemon grass, and chillis, retaining the flavored stock.
Score the skins of 2 or three tomatoes, and drop into boiling water
for 1 minute. Transfer to ice water to stop cooking, core, and skin
them, cut in half, discard the seed pulp, and chop the flesh roughly.
Continue until you have half a cup of tomato 'meat'
Roughly skin the cucumber, cut in half and discard the seeds.
Coarsely chop the cucumber 'flesh'.
Combine the tomato, cucumber, lime juice, and pepper, and add salt
and sugar to taste, then add to the stock, and simmer for 15-20
minutes, stirring occasionally, and then taste and adjust the
seasoning to taste. Cover and keep warm whilst completing the
Peel and dice the sweet potato and peel and slice the carrots to
bite sized pieces. Mix and place in a steamer proof container
Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of tao jiao (fermented soybeans) over
the potatoes and carrots, add the thinly sliced shallots, garlic
and minced ginger and then drizzle the lime juice over the top.
Season if required with a little freshly cracked black pepper.
Place container in a steamer and steam for 15 minutes or until
cooked to your taste.
Divide the cooked potatoes and carrots between 4 soup bowls, add
raw celery and chinese cabbage, pour the soup over the vegetables,
return to the steamer and warm through, if necesary, then decorate
with the garnish and serve.