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Thai Hot & Sour Soup with Shrimp, Ginger & Lime

Posted Feb 11 2008 12:09pm

Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup…Ludwig van Beethoven
I’m keeping this entry short and sweet (or, more accurately, hot & sour) with a soup recipe; it’s what we had for dinner last night.
My next book (Enlightened Soups) is in process and I’m behind on my testing schedule, so soup is definitely on for the days to come; I hope everyone is feeling slurpy for the coming week!(Don’t worry—I haven’t forgotten my pledge of lighter chocolate goodies for Valentine’s Day, too. They’re coming!)
I could have happily glugged multiple bowls of Chinese take-out hot & sour soup this past week. I’m especially partial to piquant foods when I’m weary; something about heat and tang revives me with a pleasant jolt through my system. But alas, Nacogdoches’s Chinese food restaurants give me the willies (among other things unsuitable for mention in a food blog!), so I had to put my appetite on hold.
Now, safely tucked back into my own kitchen, I made my own rendition of hot & sour soup, which has been in the works on paper for a few months. It steers away from the Chinese classic, which typically uses vinegar for the sour and plenty of bamboo shoots. Instead, my version is built on a Thai foundation of flavors: red curry paste, ginger, lime and cilantro, with a hearty helping of shrimp (frozen ones work fine; that’s what I used).
Two bowls of this made me feel like a new woman.
Adios for now--I'm off to create some order in the chaos I call my office. Enjoy the soup!
Thai Hot & Sour Soup with Shrimp, Ginger & Lime

Thai red curry paste adds so much to the ready-made broth in this recipe. If you don’t like Indian curry, try Thai curry anyway; it is quite different from the former. It comes in small jars and can be found in the Asian food section of the grocery store, or you can mail order it from Thai Kitchen, Taste of Thai or amazon. The pastes keep in the refrigerator for several months.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 and 1/2 tablespoons bottled Thai red curry paste (e.g., Thai Kitchen brand)
3 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel (only the green part)
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce OR soy sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound uncooked deveined peeled medium shrimp, halved lengthwise
4 ounces shitake (or white are fine) mushrooms, stemmed, sliced thin
4 cups Napa cabbage, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 8 ounces)
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped fresh green onions
Optional: thinly sliced red chiles

Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir until beginning to stick to pan, about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, lime zest, and ginger. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes.
Combine lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and cornstarch in small bowl until blended.
Add shrimp, mushrooms and lime juice mixture. Cook until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 3 minutes. Add cabbage; cook until beginning to wilt, about 30 seconds. Divide soup among bowls; sprinkle with chopped cilantro, green onionsand chiles. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition per Serving (1/6 of the soup):
Calories 143; Fat 3.7g (poly 1.2g, mono 1.5g, sat 0.4g); Protein 19.9g; Cholesterol 122.8mg; Carbohydrate 6.8g; Sodium 686.7.
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)
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