Coconut-lime-vegetable soup

cocnut lime soup

The elegance of this light, bright soup belies its humble origins. In point of fact, this soup is the result of a very nearly empty vegetable drawer and a half-used can of coconut milk! I tend to save the white, hearty, wintery vegetables till the end of the week, and use the more brightly-colored, more easily-spoiled veg earlier. But I had carrots and peas, man! I could have added those! I made a choice to use only white vegetables! A conscious choice! I think they look nice with the silky tart-sweet coconut lime broth. As it happens, you could really use any vegetables you like in this soup – it’s eminently adaptable. Carrots and peas would have been pretty, actually. So would broccoli, or spinach, or sweet potatoes… You could also add basmati rice, if you wanted a heartier dish, or you could serve it over long, thin pasta, or you could add nuts – cashews or pistachios would be good, here. Or you could add red lentils. Or lots of cilantro. Go crazy, baby! I liked it in this simple manifestation, though – just what I was in the mood for. Sometimes vegetables and broth are all that are needed.

Here’s Louis Armstrong singing about being stranded on a Coconut Island. Now doesn’t that sound nice?

1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger, sliced across the stringy axis
2 T butter
1 medium sized turnip, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch dice
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch dice
1/2 head of cauliflower cut into tiny florets
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground cardamom
a few tablespoons white wine
pinch each nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon
cayenne to taste
2/3 cup coconut milk
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
juice of one lime
a few T heavy cream (optional)
plenty of pepper

Process the shallot, ginger and garlic to make a rough paste

In a large soup pan over medium heat, melt the butter till it starts to bubble. Add the shallot/garlic/ginger combo. Stir and cook till it starts to brown a bit.

Add the potatoes, stir and cook. Then the turnip, stir and cook, then the cauliflower, stir and cook. When the pan starts to dry out, add the white wine.

Add the spices and then add water or vegetable broth to cover (about 1 1/2 cups)

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft but still have a bit of texture. (15-20 minutes)

Add the coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. Cook till it’s warmed through.

Just before serving squeeze in the juice of one lime. If you want it to be extra creamy, add a bit of heavy cream. Grind tons of pepper on top, taste for salt/sweet/tart balance, and serve!

NOTE: To make this vegan, use olive oil instead of butter, and omit the cream.

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2 thoughts on “Coconut-lime-vegetable soup

  1. Pingback: Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Considering Coconut Milk | Tasty Terminus

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