Sunday, September 20

Soup on Sunday: Thai Coconut

Alfresco dining at a Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin

Walking through Berlin it is hard to believe that sixty years ago it was a pile of rubble, and that twenty years ago a 103 mile wall divide the city.

Even ten years ago, what was considered a wasteland is now dotted with impressive monuments and well-designed buildings*. The city has managed to rebuild itself in a remarkably short period of time and the culinary scene is no exception.

Being a pescatarian however, I was leery of my options. My concern was certainly unfounded and faded the moment we hit the ground. The streets are teeming with cafés, bars and sleek eateries. Much to our surprise and delight Berlin is a haven for Thai and Vietnamese food. Even better, dining in Berlin is relatively inexpensive.

I have been craving Thai soup since returning home and found the perfect recipe. It is an adaptation of a Thai chicken coconut milk soup. Guten Appetit!

4 ounces cellophane noodles
6 cups vegetable stock
2 red Thai (or jalapeño) peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon (or lime) juice
4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, divided
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
1 pound prawns
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Place noodles in a bowl; add enough warm water to cover and let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain. Combine stock, pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, lime zest, lemon juice and 3 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan.

Season with salt. Bring to a simmer, add noodles and cook 3 minutes more. Using tongs, transfer noodles to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add mushrooms to broth; season with salt, if desired; simmer 3 minutes more.

Add prawns and coconut milk and simmer, stirring, until prawns are just cooked, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add chopped cilantro and season with remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Using tongs, divide noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of pepper.

Serves 4
adapted from epicurious

*Can you spot what is different about this Berlin building?


The Gardener's Eden said...

Ronda, it looks like you had a really wonderful time in Berlin, (nice photo notes!). It has been awhile since I have visited the city, but I was there as a teenager when the wall came down, and have spent time in Berlin on and off since then, (most of my Tanten lives in Munich, and I have family south into the Tyrol). I agree with you... Berlin is a fascinating and dynamic city. But Munich still has my heart.
And thank you so much for posting the Thai coconut soup... it is my personal favorite!
Danke sehr,

Queen of Cashmere said...

Is the first building is trompe L'oeil?
Love the limestone gothic detail!

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Guten Appetit!
Hmmm... I'm noticing a pattern, your Soup on Sunday becomes my Soup on Monday! Taking note of the ingredients for a Monday morning dash to the market!

ALL THE BEST said...

In Potsdamer Platz there are "fake" life-size buildings erected on the side of roads to cover up the large undeveloped area that was once no man's land.

Francine Gardner said...

Thank you for the Thai soup recipe. Vietnamese and Thai food are my favorite, my sons are begging me to stop taking them to Thailand, especially since my husband inspired by our times in Thailand comes back home with...more Thai recipes. i think my sons (in college this year) are happy to be away from my husband's cooking. i am about to print your fabulous recipe for him to add to his roster of Thai dishes.
Would love to visit Berlin..

TSL said...

I learned two things vis this post this morning, Rhonda, thank you! (Fake life-sized buildings that cover undeveloped areas in Berlin, and the meaning of pescatarian.)

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Tina!! Glad is was an educational morning! :-)

Karena said...

This soups sounds delish!!

ALL THE BEST said...

I loved it Karena!! Let me know if you make it!

red ticking said...

aaahhh one of my favorites and now i can learn to make it thanks to you... i just marvel at how much energy you have... and talent... you are truly blessed... and i feel the same...have a lovely week... x pam

GloucesterMary said...

Same thing we had for dinner tonite...but ours came from Thai Choice! I will try yours next time!