Monday, December 12, 2011

Thai Tofu Noodle Soup with Lemongrass (Vegan/Gluten-free)

8-10 oz. dried rice noodes, linguini-width
1-2 stalks minced lemongrass , OR
4 Tsp. dried lemongrass
4-6 cups vegetable
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, thinly s
liced into matchstick pieces
1/2 package medium slice tofu into cubes
1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
including stems
1-2 cups cabbage or bok choy, chopped into bite-size pieces
1-2 carrots, sliced
4 Tbsp. soy sauce OR wheat-free soy sauce (or use 3 Tbsp. fish sauce + 1 Tbsp. soy sauce if non-veg.)
1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
Optional: fresh-cut chilies OR chili sauce, to taste
1-2 carrots, sliced
1. cook noodles acording to package directions. Allow the noodles to soften while you prepare the soup.
2. Place stock in a soup pot together with lemongrass (include left-over stalk pieces if using fresh), plus ginger, whole lime leaves, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Allow to simmer while you chop up and add the remaining vegetables. Simmer until vegetables have softened but are still bright in color (about 5 minutes).
3. Reduce heat to minimum and add the coconut milk, stirring to dissolve. Finally, add the tofu, gently stirring so it doesn't fall apart.
4. Add the soy sauce. If you prefer your soup spicy, add some fresh-cut chilies OR 1-2 tsp. chili sauce - or simply serve it on the side. Do a taste test, adding more soy sauce if not salty enough. If you find the soup too salty (this depends on how salty your broth was to start with), add 1 to 2 Tbsp. lime juice. If too sour for your taste, add 1 tsp. sugar.
5. Check rice noodles to make sure they have softened enough to eat (they should be 'al dente'). Drain the noodles and portion out into bowls. Pour several ladles of soup over each bowl of noodles. Sprinkle over fresh basil, and serve with chili sauce on the side, if desired - either store-bought or my own homemade Thai Chili Sauce (Nam Prik Pao) for an extra kick of flavor and spice. ENJOY!

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