Recipes and Photos by Taylor Johnson

 

T

hai is one of those cuisines that warms my belly and my soul – a true comfort food.

Coconut Red Thai Curry Soup is one of my absolute favorites, and it’s still just cool enough to enjoy one more time this season. I chose some of my favorite vegetables, but others can easily be subbed in to suit your taste.

Spring Rolls are the refreshing side of Thai cuisine, with crisp, fresh vegetables all wrapped up in a burrito-like fashion and topped with your choice of peanut or sweet chili dipping sauce. The traditional “wrap” is made of rice paper, but I had a ton of leafy greens (broccoli leaves, etc. — which, if you haven’t heard, are the new trending superfood) in my garden that made a nice alternative wrap.

The warm soup together with the cool spring rolls, with the fullness of Thai flavors, is the perfect pairing for your palate this spring.

Coconut Red Thai Curry Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 19-ounce cans full fat coconut milk (or cream)
  • 4 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 purple sweet potato, peeled and cut
  • to 1-inch cubes
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • Juice from 1-2 limes
  • Cilantro
  • Roasted peanuts

Directions

In a large pot, combine chicken broth, coconut milk, Thai curry paste, fish sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar, minced onion, fresh ginger and fresh garlic.

Simmer and stir occasionally.

While mixture is simmering, prepare vegetables for soup.

Once they are chopped, peeled and sliced, add sweet potatoes, cauliflower, bell pepper, edamame and mushrooms to the soup base.

Bring to a boil, then cover and bring down to a simmer for 25 minutes (or until vegetables reach desired firmness).

Remove lid, add lime juice and stir.

To serve, place in a bowl and top with cilantro and roasted peanuts.

Side note: If you’d like a little more protein, chicken, firm tofu or tempeh can be added when vegetables are added to soup base.

Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted Thai chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • Directions
  • In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together with a whisk until well combined.

Directions

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together with a whisk until well combined.

(For more heat/spice, add more red Thai curry paste or dried Thai chili flakes. To add more tang, add another tablespoon of vinegar or the juice of one lime.)

Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons Thai chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a pan, combine sugar, rice vinegar and water over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.

Bring mixture to a boil and stir in garlic, Thai chili flakes and salt, and turn heat down to low.

Stir in Sriracha.

In a small bowl, make cornstarch into paste by adding a couple of tablespoons of water.

Add cornstarch to pan and bring heat back up to medium for a few minutes, stirring until it reaches desired consistency.

Turn off heat.

Pour the sauce mixture into a dish and let cool either on the counter or in the fridge.

Served best at room temperature.

Fresh Spring Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 2 cups purple cabbage, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 green bunching onions, sliced thin lengthwise
  • Garden greens (kale, chard, lettuce, etc.)
  • Cilantro
  • 1 large avocado
  • Rice paper (or broccoli, cauliflower or chard leaves, etc.) for wrapping

Directions

If using rice paper, take one sheet and wet with warm water for about 5 seconds.

Lay it on a clean, flat surface and arrange a pinch of bell pepper, carrots, cabbage, bunching onions, garden greens, a few sprigs of cilantro and two slices of avocado in the center.

Take the bottom end of the paper and pull it up over the veggies, tucking them in snugly.

Fold up the sides of the paper and continue rolling up like a burrito. (The rice paper will stick to itself, forming a self-containing seal. It will be a little stretchy so be careful not to pull too hard or it will rip.)

Cut in half widthwise to serve.

If using broccoli leaves, the process is the same except they do not stretch or self-seal. They can be held together with a toothpick.

Side note: Other popular things to add to spring rolls are sprouts, bamboo. Also, rice noodles (cooked and cooled).

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