winters are the times for having soups. india is witnessing a really chilly winter this year and apart from the heart & belly warming food that we make there are many varieties of soups or shorbas we also make.
now this post is not of an indian soup, but a comforting and healing thai vegetable tofu soup. now i have made thai food after a long long time as i was able to get some thai herbs here. if you want to try veg thai food then i would recommend you thai veg green curry, thai veg red curry and lemon grass rice.
so there is the fiery & pungent galangal and fragrant lemon grass along with the hot hot red piri piri chilies…. not to mention the soothing basil and lime leaves. so the ingredients that go in this soup heals you – from the cold ailments experienced in winters.
the thai veg tofu soup is warming & comforting for the body as well for the soul.
i have used oyster mushrooms in this soup as i did not have fresh mushrooms. to make the soup you can add a mix of different varieties of mushrooms or even just plain button mushrooms. the vegetables can be of your choice and what is available in season.
broccoli, carrots, beans, cauliflower, bok choy, potatoes – any of these veggies can be added. i only had carrots with the mushrooms but still with only two veggies, the soup tasted yummy.
also in this soup, you don’t have to make the stock separately and then add it. while cooking the veggies, the stock happens
i had piri piri chilies, so added them to the soup. but you can add bird’s eye chilies also. again i have added lime leaves from my lime shrub. but in absence of lemon leaves or kaffir lime leaves, you can add the zest of a small lime.
as far as galangal is concerned, ginger just does not come close to it. so i won’t suggest substituting ginger for galangal. the soup won’t taste or feel authentic if galangal is not added.
when i was seeing the pics of the soup, they were beautifully captured. i think one of best step by step pics so far. the light was perfect this day and i have not done any post processing on the images, apart from reducing the size.
lets begin step by step recipe of thai vegetable tofu soup:
1: in a mortar & pestle take galangal and ginger. the creamish one is galangal and the faint yellowish one is ginger. you can also grind these with a blender.
2: crush both to a semi coarse or fine paste.
3: now take the sliced onions, oyster mushrooms, carrots and whatever veggies you have in a pot.
4: time to add some spice, flavors & aroma – piri piri chilies, lime leaves, lemon grass and the crushed galangal-ginger are added.
5: splashing some water…
6: cover and cook all of them on a medium flame.
7: the simmering soup…..
8: meanwhile in another pan, heat some oil and pan fry the silken tofu.
9: add tofu with the oil in the soup pot… stir…..
10: season with black pepper…
11: some umami flavor… soy sauce
12: there goes the herbs… basil & coriander leaves.
13: stir and cook for a minute.
14: pour the soup in bowls and serve plain or with some warm rice or noodles.
recipe details of thai veg tofu soup below:
- 125 gms dry oyster mushrooms, halved or quartered
- 1 inch galangal, peeled
- ½ inch ginger, peeled
- 1 small onion or medium sized onion, sliced or quartered
- 1 lemon grass stalk, halved in two
- 2-3 piri piri chilies or bird’s eye chilies
- 1 medium size carrot, chopped
- 200 or 250 gms extra firm silken tofu or regular tofu, diced (i used mori nu’s silken tofu)
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 kaffir lime leaves or lime leaves or zest of one small lime
- ¼ cup chopped or torn basil leaves or thai basil leaves
- ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
- 4 cups water
- ½ tbsp soy sauce (add more if you prefer)
- some basil & coriander leaves for garnishing
- salt and black pepper as required
- crush the galangal and ginger in a mortar and pestle to a semi coarse or fine paste.
- take all the veggies, piri piri chilies, lemon grass, lime leaves, curshed galangal-ginger, salt in a pot.
- add water and keep the pot on a medium flame.
- cover and let the soup boil first.
- then lower the flame and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
- meanwhile, in another pan, heat oil
- pan fry the tofu for 2-3 minutes stirring often.
- add the tofu with the oil to the simmering soup.
- simmer for 2-3 minutes,
- season with black pepper and soy sauce.
- lastly add the chopped basil & coriander leaves.
- simmer for a minute.
- before serving remove the piri piri chilies, lime leaves and lemon grass stalks.
- serve hot in soup bowls garnished with some basil leaves.
if the galangal is fibrous and hard, then make a fine paste. otherwise you may taste the galangal threads when having the soup.
the amount of pepper and soy sauce can be adjusted as per your preference