November 8, 2011

Thai Dumpling Soup

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, from their quick and easy dinner section. Seeing as the weather has finally started to get very chilly, and I've been itching to cook thai food, it seemed the perfect opportunity to try this recipe. What I found out is that not only is this soup easier and faster to make than Tom Ka Gai, one of the simplest thai soups, but it is even more delicious. I've never made dumpling soup, and what I realized is unlike in a restaurant, I don't have to ration the 2 or 3 dumplings your soup will have, because when you make it yourself, you can have as many dumplings as you'd like! So do yourself a favor and try this one out in the next couple weeks. You will not regret it.

What's in it
2 Tbl oil
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
1/2 onion, sliced in 1/4" wedges
dried (or fresh) shittake mushrooms
1 Tbl curry powder
4 C chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 C water
1 Tbl fish sauce
1/4 lb fresh green beans trimmed and cut in half
optional: sliced crimini mushrooms, sliced bell peppers
1 lb frozen thai dumplings (I found delicious frozen chicken cilantro mini dumplings at Trader Joes)
lime and sliced green onions

How it's made
Boil 2 cups water and pour over dried shittake mushrooms in a bowl, if using. Use another bowl or cup to weigh them down under water. Let sit 30 minutes until re-hydrated. Prep other ingredients in the meantime.
In a large dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add celery, onion, shittake mushrooms and curry powder. Stir until curry powder is toasted and vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce and water (use water from re-hydrating mushrooms if you'd like more mushroom flavor, but be sure to strain out bits). Bring to a simmer and add crimini mushrooms if using. Add green beans (and bell pepper if using) and simmer about 3-5 minutes until green beans are crisp tender. Add frozen dumplings and bring back to simmer until dumplings are cooked through. Serve garnished with lime juice and chopped green onions.
I highly encourage you to adapt this recipe to your taste. Clearly I like mushrooms so I load up on them, but maybe you'd like to see tomatoes or galanga and lemongrass for a more authentic flavor, or more green beans. The great thing about soups is they are very flexible to adaptation, so have fun with it!

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