Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lightning-Quick Fish Soup with Coconut Milk for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It's been all about quick comfort food this week for me. Things that get on the table quickly, taste great and nourish the soul a little. Mark Bittman is the master of quick comfort food recipes, like this Lightning-Quick Fish Soup with Coconut Milk, adapted from one of his recipe variations in "How To Cook Everything."

I of course adapted heavily, adding more flavor, random bits of veggies in the fridge and some rice noodles for extra comfort. (My changes/additions are in red below.) I used local opah (moonfish), a lightly-flavored fish that I find holds up well in soups. The coconut milk and Thai flavors keep this dish feeling light, so good even in warmer weather.

Lightning-Quick Fish Soup with Coconut Milk
Adapted from "How to Cook Everything"
(Makes about 6 servings)

3 cups stock (fish, chicken or shrimp) (I used shrimp stock)
3 cups lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp minced lemongrass
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp chili paste (sambal oelek)
1 peeled, seeded, chopped tomato (canned is fine; include the juices)
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, julienned
3/4 cup snow peas, chopped
3/4 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper

juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 lbs any white fish, cut into small chunks or fish mixed with shelled seafood
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1 package rice noodles (optional)

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, rinse, drain and set aside

Put all the ingredients except for the fish, lime and cilantro in a large deep pot and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a steady bubble and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the fish and cook, stirring until it cooks through, about 5 minutes. Add lime juice and taste for seasoning. Serve soup over the rice noodles and garnish with the cilantro.

Notes/Results: Very good! My soup ended up with lots of flavor from doubling the garlic, ginger and lemon grass, and adding the kaffir lime, fish sauce, sambal oelek, and lime juice. For the base I used some shrimp stock from the freezer (it's always good to save up your shrimp "peelings" in a Ziploc and when you get a good supply, toss them in a pot with some water and make shrimp stock), and light coconut milk. The recipe originally called for just tomatoes and onion but I think the addition of the carrot, mushrooms, yellow pepper and snow peas added color, texture and more nutrients. I liked the addition of the rice noodles, although some cooked jasmine rice would work equally well. On the table in about 20 minutes from prep to finish, I would make this again.

It looks like a good turnout in the Souper Sunday Kitchen this week--let's see who is here:

Tigerfish from Tezcape-An Escape to Food is here with a sunny Chinese Okra Egg-Drop Soup and says, "Of all the names I have used to introduce loofah/luffa - a type of melon/gourd, I did not mention anything about Chinese Okra. So, this name Chinese Okra is popularly used in the US - in some Bay Area's farmers' markets, local grocery store - Sprouts Farmers Market and even in the "Chopped" Series. Other than being similar shaped to the other okra we all know, the taste and texture are no where near. I like to use Chinese Okra in a simple stir-fry (with a mild simmer) most of the times; and in soups."

A big welcome to Anca from Bistro Gerad, new to Souper Sundays and to food blogging. Anca made a Thai-Style Red Fish Curry this week and says, "This is a mild, soupy curry, where the spices add different layers of flavour, beautifully accentuated by the lime juice. There’s just a mild hint of chilli here, but you could increase the quantity according to your own preference. We used reduced fat coconut milk and fish stock for thinner broth, however if you prefer a creamier consistency, you could use full fat coconut milk and no stock instead." Thanks for joining us Anca!

Another new face at Souper Sundays is Lynde from Vinegarlic, making her first appearance this week and with this satisfying Whole Red Lentil Soup. Lynde says, "Whole red lentils are red lentils whose shells have not been removed. The shells are green-brown in color. These lentils, also called crimson lentils, are available in Middle Eastern grocery stores. A soup similar to this one is common in Egypt; I added the celery and carrots to sneak a few veggies into the dish. In my house we like to eat this with whole wheat pita bread broken into pieces and dropped into the soup like crackers." Welcome Lynde!

Reeni from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice made this healthy, full of color Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Soup with Basil and says, "A light and healthy soup recipe brimming with all your favorite late summer vegetables. Soup during the summer can be a great thing! I'm a firm believer in eating soups all year around. Especially when the emphasis is on seasonal vegetables. It's a great way to take advantage of the abundance of zucchini and tomatoes overflowing your garden and flooding the markets. Besides, I don't know of any rule that says you must eat soup piping hot. Lukewarm is fine."

Spencer from Live2EatEat2Live tried his hand at this Whirled Peas Soup and says, "Sometimes I draw inspiration for a recipe from strange places (OK some of you already knew that). I saw a t-shirt printed with “imagine whirled peas” (say it aloud) the other day. I am familiar with split pea soup made with dried split peas. I wondered if pea soup could be made with fresh or frozen peas. A search of the internet revealed that a French soup called Potage Saint-Germain uses fresh peas. The name of the soup apparently comes from a suburb of France where peas used to be cultivated in market gardens."

Julie from A Little Bit of Everything is back this week with her No Cream Creamy Broccoli Soup and says, "Summertime isn't really soup time but I had some broccoli that needed to be used before it went bad. Cream based soups are the best but they're also not the best for you. How about a recipe for a creamy broccoli soup that doesn't use cream? This recipe is courtesy of our friends at Kraft. The only change I made to this recipe was to use brown rice instead of white. I loved this soup. It has a wonderful texture just like a cream based soup. The flavors are delicious and would make a great base for other soups."

Zibi from Fresh Slowcooking is here with a beautiful Slow Cooker Minestrone and says, "Fresh carrots, tomatoes and zucchinis combined with beans, rosemary, basil and parmesan create a hearty soup full of rich flavours. To make my minestrone more satisfying, I added white navy beans but otherwise my slow cooker minestrone tastes just like the kind my mom used to make. All I was missing were the pretty, orange zucchini blossoms that she often stirred into the soup for that extra special touch."

Rounding out our soup submissions and making her first appearance at Souper Sundays is Serena from Seriously Soupy. (With that blog name how has she not been here before!?) ;-) Serena made her version of Gazpacho this week and says, "This tomato-based soup is a great compliment to any meal or it can be the perfect light snack. Again (as with most chilled soups), this one requires no cooking and is really easy to make. The majority of the work involves chopping of the cherry tomatoes, red peppers and cucumbers, but once that step is over the soup is practically done. Enjoy!" Welcome Serena--my fellow soup lover!

Here with a colorful Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad is Janet from The Taste Space. Janet says, "This is definitely one superb salad. Absolutely delicious! Dare I suggest the best salad ever? Oh yes! This is a Turkish recipe, based on kisir, a bulgur salad with tomato. The creamy bulgur is mixed with soft charred cherry tomatoes, crunchy toasted almonds and nutty, creamy chickpeas. Pomegranate seeds add flavour and pop. The dressing wraps everything together – sweet and tart from the pomegranate molasses, tart from the lemon juice and a bit of a kick from the Aleppo chili flakes. I loved it!"

Resourceful Pam from Sidewalk Shoes takes leftovers to new heights and says, "I don’t know about you, but I almost never finish my entire meal in a restaurant. So, I am always bringing home bits of this and that, half orders of pasta, whatever. Well, when I was cleaning out my freezer, I found half a steak. What to do with half a steak??? I love salads with leftover sliced beef and one of my very favorites is Beef Salad with Mint from How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Foodfrom Mark Bittman. It’s the perfect way to stretch a little bit of meat."

It's nice to have Libby from The Allergic Kid back this week and with this healthy Asparagus and Radish Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing. She says, "This spring my mom told me about an asparagus and radish salad that she'd eaten at a friend's house. Her description of it has been haunting me, and I finally broke down and bought some late season asparagus when I was looking for a veg to go with tonight's dinner. The dressing I made is very sweet, since I was trying to tickle The Kid's taste buds as well as my own, and it ended up working extremely well with the peppery radish."

For her salad, Kim from Stirring the Pot tried Michael Symon's Zucchini Crudo and says, "The zucchini crudo was a combination of zucchini and yellow squash sliced very thinly and combined with garlic, shallot, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, dill and sliced almonds. The texture of the almonds was wonderful against the thinly sliced squash and the dill brought the whole salad together giving it that incredible fresh flavor that only dill can deliver."

Here's a gorgeous Feta-Stuffed, Fig-Glazed Grilled Lamb Burger with Red Onion Jam from Debby at A Feast for the Eyes. She says, "This week, I was smitten with a recipe for Fig Glazed Burgers with Red Onion Jam that was posted on "The Bitten Word". The recipe originally comes from Southern Living Recipes, and uses ground beef and Muenster Cheese. When I think of fig jam, I tend to think of pork... or even lamb. So, I started thinking of Greek inspired ingredients, and an idea was born. Whatever you do, don't leave out the fig jam. That's the cherry on the sundae. Or, in this case, it's the star of this burger."

girlichef has a delectable Sweet Heat Pork Sammich to share this week and says, "This pork is sooooooo tender. Fork tender. Pull tender. And it has this awesome "sweet heat"! A mellow, creeping heat that never quite assaults you, like you expect it might...because it's tempered by the coolness of the applesauce and the rich brown sugar! I just liked standing over the pot and picking with my fingers...toying with burning them in the process because it was way too hot to handle yet. After piling it on the roll I topped it with avocado & pickled banana peppers...I mean, pickled banana peppers are good on anything!"

Such a great group of recipes this week! Thanks to everyone who joined in, and of course a big welcome to all of our new Souper Sunday bloggers. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, click on the Souper Sunday logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Reminder: Just one more day to enter my giveaway. I am giving away 2 autographed copies of the fun Hawaii foodie mystery: "Captain Cooked"--along with a few local ingredients to help you cook some of the fabulous recipes in the book. Get the details on how to enter here.

Have a wonderful week!


  1. There are so many delicious looking recipes here. So much food, so little time! Thank you for posting this:-)

  2. It's great to be back! Thank you for doing such a lovely round up every week.

  3. I can't believe that gorgeous soup is quick! It's so pretty and colorful and packed with enticing ingredients...Hawaiian dreaming again....

    Beautiful roundup, Deb...everything is so tempting ;)

  4. Wow - what a roundup! Definitely a full kitchen at SS this week. Looks like people are starting to crave some heartier soups (and maybe some fall weather too).

    Your soup looks delicious Deb. You really spiced it up with all kinds of goodies. I'd love to find some of the kaffir lime leaves. I haven't seen them around these parts yet. And, I'm definitely going to make my own shrimp stock with my shrimp peels from now on. Why have I been throwing them away?

  5. What a simple recipe that sounds delicious and healthy. I love you addition of the colorful vegetables. They make your bowl of noodles and fish a piece of artwork. I'll have to make this with my homemade veggie stock when I get back to my kitchen after my one week break! I have some white fish waiting to be cooked. When I make it, I'll have to let you see the results, since you inspired it. Also, that fig burger you featured looks fantastic! Juicy and so tasty looking.

  6. Deb, your soup has all of the components that I love. I'm feeling a soup yearning coming on. I can definitely imagine how great the flavors are. I'll let you know how this one turns out. Thanks! As for the rest of the soups.... they all look amazing. Thanks for the work it takes to compile a roundup.

  7. Your fish soup looks too good to eat Deb! But it sounds so good, it has quite the combination of spices and veggies...yum!

    Great round up this week :)

  8. great soup and love Debs special touch

  9. Yum, such bright colours and bold flavours! I love the noodley goodness too. ☺

  10. Thanks for accepting our entry into SS - there are definitely some great entries this week, and it feels fantastic to be in such delightful company.
    Your soup sounds delicious as usual - I love your creative use of fresh flavorsome ingredients. Your dishes are a great source of inspiration to me.

  11. Your round-ups get better and better! That lamb burger is so awesome!

  12. Lightening quick AND thai flavored? How can you go wrong?

    And that round up - lovely!

  13. Lightning-quick! Wow! And such a fish soup would win a thunderous applause from me ;)

    Thanks for your round-up.

  14. Such a beautiful colorful soup and how wonderful that it is so quick to make!

  15. What an honor to have been included among so many yummy recipes! Thanks again for the round up, Deb.


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