Cooking for Two: Vegetable Soup

vegetable soup

I’m having a hard time keeping up with the weather. A couple of days ago, it was so hot that I couldn’t imagine cooking. Today I’m watching my 93 year old mother-in-law shiver in the damp air, so for lunch today it had to be soup. I was really thinking about a Thai soup, but I didn’t have all the right spices here at my cottage. I fudged it a bit and came up with something that wasn’t quite Chinese and wasn’t quite Thai, but was pretty tasty nonetheless.

If you wanted to make more of a meal out of this, you could add some cubed tofu, or some cooked chicken or even shrimp. I used the vegetables that I had on hand in my refrigerator, so feel free to experiment with what you have. I used Chinese egg noodles, which come in portions about the size of individual ramen noodles, and I use one per person. I always use light coconut milk because there is so much fat in the regular. Although some people strongly disagree, I don’t find much difference in the flavour between the two.

Vegetable Soup

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
4 stalks asparagus, broken into 1″ pieces
2-3 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 zucchini, cut into small pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp dried Thai basil, or fresh leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried lemongrass, or 1″ fresh, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Dried noodles
1/2 cup light coconut milk

1. In a large pot, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

2. Add the vegetables, and stir to coat with the oil. Add the spices and stir again. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 or 3 minutes at a simmer, then add the noodles and cook until they are done to your taste.

3. Add the coconut milk and heat through.

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