Monday, June 16, 2014

Simple Comforts: Hot Soup (Coconut)

Hot Soup!

And no I don't mean the Ender's Game character, I mean that big bowl of delicious-smelling hot liquid, and we all have our favorite flavors. Personally, I have always loved a good bowl of chicken noodle, coconut, or egg drop soup.  All of these soups can be made from your preps among countless others.

Cold days are neutral in who they affect, and when the sun starts to vanish earlier and earlier, comfort foods will be needed to help keep spirits up.  Soup is a very good way to do just that.  A large number soups can be used as meat and vegetable sinks - in other words, if it needs to be eaten in the next day, chop it up, throw it into the pot, and turn it into soup!

So I'll be sharing what I have been able to craft from foods either in, or identical to, my preps for things like soups.   Once it gets closer to colder weather, I'll be making chili too!

Coconut Soup

This is a favorite in our home and yes, we have based it as much as possible on the Thai original.
  • 1 can of coconut milk (per two people)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Basil (dried works just as well as fresh, though you need a bit more of it)
  • Ginger (powdered ginger works as a good substitute for the lemongrass)
  • Salt
  • Lemon or lime juice (did you know they make dried and ground up whole lemon and lime powders?)
  • Meat:  canned chicken, canned crab or shrimp.  This soup is good for covering up that canned taste that comes with some seafood, just not sardines or other canned fish.  You can even use bacon bits (which will  cut down on the amount of salt you need to add).
  • Veggies.  I have used celery, cucumbers, asparagus to date so far and they work.  
  • Sriracha (Asian hot sauce) 
Set your veggies and meat to cooking in the cup of water.

After they've come to a boil, take them off the main heat and pour in the coconut milk.  You want to keep it simmering at this point, as any more than that will thicken to the coconut a lot.

Add a small amount of basil, salt, ginger and lemon juice.  Stir it in and let simmer for about a minute.

Carefully taste.  From there you'll be adding small amounts of the various flavorings until you get it the way you like it.  Now be very careful as you can easily add too much lemon/lime quickly.

Add your spices slowly.  Once you have the salt, ginger, etc the way you want, add a bit of the sriracha at a time until there's just a hint of its bite.

And there you have it.  Now, I advise canned coconut milk or coconut creme for your stores, as coconut has a lot minerals and nutrients, and is great for covering the flavor of instant coffee.  It's also a blessing for folks like me, who can't have cow dairy of any kind, regardless of what has been taken out of it. 

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