This is the spiciest soup I’ve ever had, and while I’m usually very sensitive about spice, I was able to enjoy the heat of this somehow buttery, delicious soup. While the soup may be good for preventing colds, I can tell you that it will also clear your sinuses if you already have a cold (sore throats may not bode well under the strain of the hot peppers). The soup calls for fifteen dried chilies, so if you want to lower the heat, simply cut back on the number of chilies used to make the spicy paste. I also feel inclined to mention that the mint – not noticeable while eating the soup – left a waxy, medicinal flavor in my mouth. The next time I make this soup, I will omit the mint.
Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup
for the chili paste
15 Dried chiles de arbol or Japones chiles
8 Garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 Tsp salt
2 Stalks lemongrass, minced (1/2 cup)
1 Tsp red miso
for the soup
4 Cups low-sodium vegetable broth or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Cups sliced kale
1 Cup turnip or fennel chunks (I used daikon radish)
1/2 Cup sliced mushrooms
1 Cup firm tofu chunks
1 Cup coarsely chopped arugula
1/2 Cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 Cup coarsely chopped parsley
1) To make the Chili Paste: Soak the chiles in a bowl of boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and finely chop.
2) Combine the garlic and salt in a mortar and grind with a pestle. Add the lemongrass, shallots, miso, and chiles, pounding and crushing after each addition to make a thick paste (if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can try using a food processor instead).
3) To make the Soup: In a saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the soy sauce and Chili Paste. Add the chopped kale, turnip (or fennel/radish), and mushrooms, then bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4) Add the tofu to the soup and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the arugula, mint, and parsley then simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until herbs wilt.
Recipe from Vegetarian Times.