Bursting with Thai flavors, this vibrant, flavorful Thai Broccoli Soup wakes up the taste buds. Made with fresh lemongrass, ginger, chilies, shallots and lime – it has a delicious brightness we all could use in winter, taking us away to warm and far-off places. It’s lightened up with sweet potatoes and a little coconut milk, rather than heavy cream or dairy. For added texture try adding crispy shallots or garlic and fresh herbs right before serving. It’s vegan adaptable (sans the fish sauce) and gluten-free. A warm bowl of sunny goodness on a cold winters day….just what the doctor ordered.
This recipe is adapted from Donna Hay’s – which in the original recipe calls for green curry paste. Some of you have told me this is hard to find, so today, we are making our own simple version from scratch with easy grocery store ingredients.
This will get you accustomed to the idea of making your own Thai pastes from scratch and you will come to discover how simple, easy and fast this is. Granted, it maybe not as simple as buying a jar off the grocery store shelve, but for those of you whose desire is to make everything from scratch, this easy process will be helpful. Take the basic recipe and adapt it to your tastes.
Sweet potato adds a little sweetness and creaminess to the soup, lessening the amount of coconut milk needed.
Finnish the soup with lime zest, crispy shallots, or toasted coconut and of course fresh herbs. Chili flakes or threads are pretty here too.
- 1 shallot sliced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass ( lighter, tender parts)
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh ginger, skins ok.
- ½ -1 medium sized jalapeño pepper- seeds removed, halved ( ½ a jalapeno is pretty mild)
- 2 kefir lime leaves ( optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil ( or olive oil)
- 4 cups water or stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound broccoli, chopped small
- 1 cup small-diced sweet potato (not a yam) - or use a regular potato, skins ok.
- 1 cup coconut milk ( liquid and solids) saving the rest for optional garnish
- 1- 1 ½ cups fresh greens- baby kale, spinach, arugula or other green
- ½ -1 cup cilantro -tender stems OK
- 1-2 teaspoons fish sauce ( or add a little more salt to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Optional garnishes- crispy shallot, lime zest, mint, cilantro, chili threads, coconut milk, croutons
- Place the sliced shallot, garlic cloves, sliced lemongrass, sliced ginger, and ½ a seeded jalapeno, and optional kefir lime leaves in a food processor, and pulse until combined into a paste, scraping down sides.
- Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottom pot, over medium high heat. Add the paste and fry it, stirring often. It will smell heavenly. Let it get golden, about 3-4 minutes, turning heat down if it gets too dark. This will give the soup its great flavor, so be patient and allow it to get golden.
- Add the water, salt and sweet potato and bring to boil. Boil 2-3 minutes covered, then add the broccoli, pressing down into the liquid. ( it's OK if the broccoli isn't all submerged, it will still steam) Bring this to a simmer, cover, and cook 10-12 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.
- Add 1 cup coconut milk (solids and liquid) and if using kale, add it now and cook a couple minutes until it wilts. ( If using other tender greens like spinach or arugula- these are fine to add directly to the blender without wilting first.)
- Blend in batches until smooth and creamy adding the fresh cilantro and greens.
- Return to the pot, simmer on low heat, add fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Find the balance.
- If not using fish sauce, add another ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste.
- Divide among bowls, garnish with lime zest, cilantro or mint ( or both), optional crispy shallots and chili threads and an extra drizzle of coconut milk, if you like.
- Notes- Crispy Shallots, Kefir lime leaves and Chili threads can all be found at Asian markets- and no, these are not essential, but add a nice touch. 🙂