Last weekend we took our kiddos to a pumpkin patch. Yes, we battled the crowds and paid the expensive entrance fee so our kids could jump on hay bales, ride ponies, slide down giant slides and watch balloon shows. Pumpkins are cheaper to buy at the market, but if you can ignore the extra money and the crowds, you realize that your kids are having fun running around and there is a nice sense of Autumn and Halloween that is not the same as at the market.
Soups are one of our favorite dishes. They are simple to make and cost effective for a large crowd or big family. We like to make double batches to make sure that we have enough for leftovers. As we are trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into our diet, we found that soups are ideal. You can load soups with lots of veggies and still have an abundance of flavor and textures, without making them high in calories, which is great for those of you who are trying to lose weight.
Today’s soup recipe is a yummy base with lemongrass and ginger infused coconut milk that can be enhanced with just about any veggie toppings you have.
Some health benefits of this soup:
Lemongrass has high anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It’s a superior detoxifying properties will cleanse and purify the kidneys, liver, bladder, pancreas and increase circulation.
Coconut Milk improves heart health, boosts immunity, helps to build muscle, prevent fatigue, prevent anemia, and prevent joint inflammation.
Vegan Ginger & Lemongrass Thai Soup
adapted from sobremesa-blog.com
The original recipe used peanuts and crispy tofu as toppings, but you could use just about any vegetables you’d like to such as avocado, cilantro, green onions, basil, red or green cabbage, asparagus, baby kale, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, snap peas and bean sprouts. To make it more curry like and creamier, you can substitute more coconut milk for the vegetable broth and add some red or green curry paste. This soup is so versatile!
2 tsp coconut oil, divided
1 package of extra firm tofu
¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp agave
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into coins
1 bunch scallions, chopped and divided into two piles
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 stalk lemongrass, leave whole and cut an x in the bottom of the root end (this will help release the lemongrass flavor)
3 cups vegetable broth*
1 can full fat coconut milk
zest and juice on 1 lime
* for a creamier soup, add 3 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup of vegetable broth
**Add 2 tablespoons of red or green thai curry paste for a more curry-like soup.
4 cups cooked rice
Cut tofu into cubes and place them in a medium sized bowl. Mix tamari, agave, and sesame oil together in a small bowl. In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat 1 tsp coconut oil over medium heat. Pour tamari mixture over cubed tofu and toss to make sure each piece is evenly coated. Add tofu to the hot pan and brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tsp coconut oil. Add onion and carrot and cook until soft and fragrant. Add half of the chopped scallions (reserve the rest for garnish), garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook for 2-3 minutes until very fragrant. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove lemongrass from pan and toss it. Season the soup broth with salt and pepper to taste and add the lime zest and juice. Place a serving of rice in each bowl, pour the soup broth over the rice, and top with tofu, scallions, cilantro, and peanuts. Enjoy!