Spicy Vegetable Soup- Of all the dishes, this is probably
the same soup that the Thais ate 1000
years ago, before the introduction of
the chili peppers and many other
non-Thai vegetables. The vegetables are
native and grown locally. The meat in
the dish is fish which so core to Thai
The soup is said to be good for nursing
mother because it is supposed to
increase milk production. But the soup
is not reserved for nursing mothers.
This is an everyday soup with simple
ingredients available in Thailand, fish,
shrimp paste, Chinese keys, ivy gourd (tum
leung) and lemon basil.
1/4 cup Chinese keys
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon ground pepper
1 bunch lemon basil
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
3 cups water
2 cups Loofah
1 bunch tum leung Optional
6 shrimp Optional
Tips and Techniques: This recipe is
made with dried shrimp. But fresh white fish or dried smoked
fish is also used. You can also substitute bonito flakes for
the dried smoked fish. Other vegetables that you can add are
green beans, mushroom, kabocha squash and baby corn. But
there is no way around the lemon basil. It makes the dish.
Yellow flesh squash like delicata squash, butternut squash
or acorn squash is a good option for the soup. Zucchini is
good substitute for loofah.
If you are using dried shrimps, soak them in water
water for 10 minutes. If you are using fresh fish, boil
the fish first.
In a food processor or a mortar, grind peppercorn,
shallots, shrimp paste, and dried shrimp/fish/dried
fish together. Warning for using a food processor,
peppercorn will remain whole. If using the food
processor, use ground pepper instead of peppercorns.
Cut loofah into thick piece at an angle. It should
like a wedge of lime shape. Peel and devein shrimp.
Clean and pick the leaves of lemon basil.
Boil 2-3 cups of water. Add the mixture to the
water. Let boil. Add the vegetables. When you are about
ready to serve, bring the soup to a boil.
Add lemon basil, tum leung (if use) and shrimp.
Turn off the heat immediately and let sit for 2 minutes