Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thai Vegetable Stew--Hearty & Vegan for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

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With a fridge and freezer full of leftovers including four soups made in a vegan Hearty Ethnic Soups class I took last weekend at Kapiolani Community College, I decided to not make another new soup this week. Instead I am featuring my favorite soup from class, this Thai Vegetable Stew. Made thick and hearty with plenty of vegetables and creamy from coconut milk, it is a warm, nourishing soup that was very welcome for the rainy, windy weather we had this week.

Thai Vegetable Stew
by Chef Alyssa Moreau, KCC Chef Instructor
Serves 4)

1 Tbsp light oil
1 cup red bell pepper, 1/2" chop
1 cup Japanese eggplant, sliced thin
1 cup kabocha squash or yams, cut into 1/2" chunks or slices
4 Thai chilies, stems and seeds removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1"-piece of ginger or galangal, peeled & cut in chunks
2 lemongrass stalks (lower 5"), peeled and cut into 1" pieces
4 kaffir lime leaves, mid-ribs torn off
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
2 Tbsp shoyu or to taste
2 cups water or to personal preference
1 cup green beans or zucchini,
2 green onion stalks, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup carrot, sliced matchstick styles
1/2 cup snap peas
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Thai basil, sliced thin
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped coarse

Heat oil in a large pot. Add the red bell pepper, eggplant, and kabocha and saute about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small processor (or hand-chop or mortar & pestle), process the chilies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime until you get a paste.

Add the paste to the sauteing vegetables and cook a few minutes, allowing the flavors to release and blend in. Add in the liquid ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add in the green beans and green onions, cover and cook about 5 minutes or until almost tender.

Remove the lid and add in the carrots and snap peas, cook for 1 more minute, then add in the cilantro, basil and salt to taste.

Serve with chopped peanuts.

Optional: Add in 1 cup pre-soaked rice noodles during the last 5 minutes of simmering, and/or add in marinated tofu cubes or slices.

Notes/Results: A really good soup. Lots of layers of flavor in this one, slightly sweet from the yams, carrots and coconut milk, tangy from the lemongrass, kaffir lime and the squeeze of lime juice I added. This soup is a great one to adjust to your personal tastes, with whatever veggies strike your fancy or adding rice or noodles. I tried it plain and also stirred in some brown rice in a second bowl and it is good and hearty both ways. It is a filling soup already but if you desperately wanted protein, tofu chunks would be great in it or you could add some shrimp or chicken too. This is a keeper recipe.

Let's take a look at this week's Souper Sunday round up and see who is in the kitchen:

Tigerfish from
Teczcape - An Escape to Food made a light and healthy Daikon Chicken Soup and says, "There are some popular Chinese sayings: 秋天 萝卜是人参,十月萝卜小人参 - meaning the Radish (Daikon) harvest during Autumn/Fall season is equivalent to Ginseng, heightening the nutritious benefit of radish (daikon). Daikon is sometimes known as Oriental Radish or Chinese Radish. If you have never thought so highly of Daikon, perhaps you should do so..and EAT MORE! I love pairing chicken and daikon in a soup."

Please join me in giving a big Souper Sundays welcome to Katerina from Culinary Flavors, blogging from Athens, Greece and joining us for the first time this week. Katerina made a quick and delicious Mushroom Soup for her sick husband and says, "The perfect soup for a cold day and a ‘cold-hit’ husband. I had all the ingredients at home, so I didn’t have to go to the s/m to buy anything. When I came home from work, I immediately started cooking. It is a very easy soup and super delicious. I will definitely do it again, I will only increase the quantity, since by the end of the day there weren’t any leftovers and I received several complaints about that."

Also welcome my friend Annie blogging from House of Annie in Malaysia, along with her husband Nate as I think this may be their first Souper Sundays visit (or it is at least a welcome back after a long absence!). Annie made a classic Matzoh Ball Soup and says, "This easy recipe takes chicken soup to a new level of wonderful. Considering that I only learned about matzoh balls 3 years ago, it’s amazing how this dish is now a mainstay in our home. After one slurp of the soup and a bite of the matzoh balls, I was in love. It was everything comfort and home should be about–hearty, warm, satisfying. Once I found out how easy it was to make, it found its way into my home as well."

Kim from Liv Life made this gorgeous Quick Corn and Chicken Chowder (it made the Food Buzz Top 9!) and says, "With the market corn dwindling, a bag of Trader Joe's frozen white corn made for easy prep of this body warming soup. I had thought ahead and made extra chicken from our dinner the prior evening which only need a quick chopping to round out the meal. Flavored with onion, chilies and celery and then then rounded out with a dose of dried thyme and a fresh grind of pepper this soup was the perfect birthday meal."

Nicole from Cocoa and Coriander is back this week with an exotic Red Kuri Soup over Couscous and says, "I found a lovely squash that I hadn't ever seen, a red kuri squash. It kind of looks like a pumpkin but a little smaller and richer in color. I decided I wanted to make a sauce to serve over couscous, but the end result was hearty enough to consider a soup. It is a bit more wholesome with the couscous because of the added protein and grain, but I had a bowl of it by itself for lunch today and I think I prefer it served that way. Eating this is like eating a bowl of savory pumpkin pie. It is creamy and nutty and naturally sweet, but it is also delightfully savory and slightly spicy."

Lovely Pam from Sidewalk Shoes used the last of her beloved CSA meaty soup bones to make a pot of her favorite "go-to" dish of Vegetable Beef Soup and says, "In continuing with my anything-goes soup recipes, there is no recipe. There is nothing quite so forgiving as soup. A little of this, a little of that, more of this, not quite so much that, it doesn’t matter. Again, following my dump everything in the slow cooker method, this soup can be assembled in about 25 minutes and about 8 hours or so later, you have a warm, comforting hug in a bowl."

Debbi from Debbie Does Dinner... Healthy & Low Calorie made this low calorie Enchilada Soup with Pumpkin and says. "It's getting cold here!! So soups like this is necessary for survival! This was so quick and easy, I just know I'll be making it again soon! I cooked extra chicken so that we could eat this along with quesadillas but none of us needed a quesadilla, this hit the spot just the way it was! The enchilada sauce and the pumpkin together are perfect! Go make this."

Christine from Kits Chow kindly shares the secret to her White Bean Soup, saying "My late mother-in-law loved my white bean soup. She would ask me to make large portions so that she could give some to her friends. I became famous among the seniors set for my bean soup.They said that they had never tasted anything like it. What was my secret? White bean is usually made with a ham bone. As I seldom had a ham bone on hand, I made the stock with roasted pig's feet that are sold in Chinese BBQ shops. The pig's feet give a very rich and delicious taste to the soup. I think that was what they meant."

Corina from Searching for Spice adds leafy greens to her beans for this hearty Kale and Bean Soup. She says, "This is a really easy and filling soup that makes a complete meal. It’s incredibly healthy and makes me feel good just looking at it. I only get kale a couple of times a year. I love the strong flavour but unfortunately my husband is not so keen. I think it goes really well in a soup. As it’s quite a tough leaf it doesn’t disappear to nothing like spinach does. I love that fact it keeps its shape and flavour. The beef stock is also good in this soup and I think it goes perfectly with the kale."

We have one hearty salad this week, this Carrot, Dill, and White Bean Salad from my friend Joanne at Eats Well With Others who was confronted by some very quick cooking beans. Joanne says, "You find mush. You check the clock to make sure you haven't gotten stuck in some kind of fast forwarding time warp. Nope. Forty minutes. Mush. So I'm just putting it out there. This is mush in salad form. But it's okay. Because caramelized carrots mixed with lemon juice, brown sugar and olive oil taste a bit like a symphony when put together, the different flavors melding and working together to make one coherent, illuminating whole. And the white beans just tie it all together. Mushed. Or not."

Kim from Stirring the Pot has burgers on her mind, like these Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Basil Mayonnaise adapted from Giada De Laurentiis. Kim says, "I've tried chicken burgers in the past and haven't cared for them at all, until now. Giada's Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Mayonnaise are actually really good. Giada's original recipe calls for rosemary flavored mayo. I didn't have rosemary, but I did have lots of basil. I didn't find it necessary to use 1/4 cup olive oil to grill the burger buns, so I skipped that part. I also added quite a bit more garlic to the mayo mixture. We found these burgers to be juicy, flavorful, and satisfying."

Erin of EKat's Kitchen took the time out of a busy few weeks to make a soup and burger dinner and says, "Tonight, to make it up to my hubby for making him fend for himself (poor baby!) for dinner the last week or so to use up some of the squash and freezer goodies that we've got to use up before we move, I made a gourmet burger dinner." Her Brie-Stuffed Buffalo Burgers and Mashed Butternut Squash Soup made a fantastic and filling autumn-perfect meal.

There you go--some truly fabulous soups, a tasty salad and a couple of great burgers! Thanks to everyone who joined in this week and a special welcome to our new faces. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a wonderful week!


  1. What a great round up Deb! As always I'm finding some great inspiration. Though I follow Debbi's blog, I completely missed her pumpkin enchilada soup this week! Thanks for hosting :)

  2. wow as ever amazing soups love the peanuts on the top

  3. Another wonderful Souper Sunday!!! Looks like the weather must be "chilling" in the country with all of the warm bowls of soup. Thanks for putting it all in one place for us Deb!!

  4. What a great Souper Sunday for a rainy day today :)

  5. These dishes look amazing!
    Everyday Southwest is one year old! I want to make sure all my friends from foodbuzz have a personal invitation to join our Birthday give away. Visit our site all month long for chances to win!

  6. Great round up Deb! All soups are looking very hearty. Thanks for hosting.

  7. You know that I'm much more of a stew girl than a soup girl and so I love this! I mean, it also has kabocha in it. Hands down awesome. Lovely round up! The soups are getting so hearty these days!

  8. Hey Deb, how's Max? He hasn't featured for a while!

  9. Glad to see that you are enjoying your freezerful of soups. Your Thai vegan soup looks packed with flavor and very substantial. It's dishes like that where you really don't miss the meat or dairy.
    Thanks for including me in another tasty roundup.

  10. Your vegetable soup looks incredible - packed with great flavor and ingredients! And a delicious round-up as always!

  11. Erin--thanks for the positive feedback and for joining in this week!


    Rebecca--thank you! The peanuts add a nice texture and crunch. ;-)

    Kim--yep, it is soup season for sure!

    Tigerfish--thank you & thanks for sending in your soup. ;-)

    Sandy--thank you. ;-)

    Katerina--thank you and welcome again--hope to have you back! ;-)

    Joanne--I knew you would like the squash. ;-)

    Foodycat--Max is good--fat & sassy and I'll work on getting a picture of him up. ;-) Tell his friend Urchin hello for him. ;-)

    Kim--it is very filling and good on its own. Thanks for sending in your burger! ;-)

    Reeni--thank you! ;-)

  12. Deb - thanks for doing the roundup! Some delicious soups here, like that kale and bean one. I wish we could get kale here in Kuching...*sigh*

    Hope to be able to join in the fun again soon!

  13. These are perfection. What a round-up!

  14. I am so hungry after reading through all this - I am only so-so usually about soups but these look so interesting.


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