Monday, November 22, 2010

Thai Coconut Soup for your Crockpot and a Monday Ramble

I have many food blogs on my blog roll. As Gregg and I enjoy Thai food very much - it's Gregg's favorite food - I will often hunt for recipes. I found this one at Crockpot365 hosted by Stephanie O'Dea. You can click here if you want to see her actual post.

I love using my crockpot, I can put things together early in the day when my energy level is at its highest, smell the wonderful aroma as it cooks, and all I have to do is serve a nice meal when Gregg arrives home in the evening. A nice easy way of putting something on the table without much effort at the end of the day.


Thai Coconut Soup - A Crockpot Recipe


Stephanie used a 6 quart crockpot. I can't remember what size mine is but it's probably the same as hers.

4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 can coconut milk (if you opt for the lite, you many want to add a drop of coconut extract to boost the flavor)
4 limes (3 juiced, 1 for garnish)
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
4 oz sliced shitake mushrooms, cut in quarters
1 large vine-ripened tomato, or 4 small-med, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound extra firm tofu, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T fish sauce
1/2 tsp to 2 tsp red chili paste, to taste (you can use red chili flakes, too)
1 tsp sugar
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Although there are a lot of ingredients listed, this soup comes together quite quickly. Nothing really needs to be cooked---you're just heating through fully and letting the flavors simmer together.

Pour the broth into the crockpot. Add the juice of three of the limes, and zest one of them until you get 1/2 teaspoon to add. Stir in the sugar and fish sauce. Grate the ginger and add. Stir in the coconut milk. You now have your soup base. Add the red chili paste, 1/2 tsp at a time until you have reached desired heat. I ended up using 1 1/2 tsp. You can always add more after cooking though, so please go slow and don't overdo it.

Cube the tofu, slice the bell pepper, and mince the garlic. Add to pot. Coarsely chop the shitake mushrooms and the vine-ripened tomatoes. Stir in carefully, so you don't break up the tofu or the tomatoes.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours, or on high for 2-4. This soup is finished when it is fully hot, and the flavors have combined nicely.

Ours ended up sitting on warm for an additional 3 hours, and was fine. When in doubt, use the shortest amount of cooking time, and let the pot stay on warm.

Garnish with fresh lime slices.

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If you like the flavors of Thai food you will love this soup. We enjoyed it very much and will be making it again. Because I fixed it just for us we had it two nights in a row. The first time we had it on its own for our lunch, but the next night Gregg felt like rice and I also fixed egg rolls that I had in the freezer. Those only took 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven. The rice took 25 minutes in the rice steamer. I have had the steamer for over 20 years plus, and it is still as good as the day I bought it from an Asian market when we lived in southern California. My crockpot is getting up there in age also and is still going strong.

The only thing I forgot to do this time was to put the slice of lime on the top for garnish. We also have some ginger-flavored soy sauce which was a nice addition. For the second serving I put a bed of rice on our plates, and spooned the soup over the top. I still had half a packet of tofu left, and decided to cube and added it to the soup while it was reheating. Gregg also added his Vietnamese hot sauce. If we had any fresh basil I would have put a few leaves for added garnish. I would probably also add more red chili paste next time as I only put in just over a teaspoon and it wasn't very hot. But on second thoughts I think the added hot sauce at the table would do the trick if you wanted more heat.

We still have leftovers and I am going to freeze the rest. I have never frozen soup with tofu before and this is going to be an experiment.

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Time for a Monday morning ramble. My morning started with me once again being awakened by a lot of rustling and scurrying at my bedroom window. I knew immediately what it was, my friendly little squirrel running around on the screen. This new brood came with new tricks. I've never had squirrels climbing up our window screens before, and certainly never on the second floor of our house. The first time it happened I posted about it and you can see that cheeky little fellow if you click here. Gregg is always an early riser. In fact he got up at four a.m., yes a little bit too early for me. I went down around eight and told him that I have figured it out. You see, whenever I am a bit late putting out the peanuts for them, they visit me at the bedroom window creating a heck of a racket. I was late getting up today. Usually I throw them out before the sun comes up. Gregg said if the squirrels had their own version of National Geographic, I'd be in it. Funny man isn't he? Yes, I'll be the first to admit, the squirrels have me well trained.

We are having a bit of decorating done in our house and the young man I met when he was staining his aunt's deck next door - Jason - has been coming back with his dad Joe and they have already painted our kitchen. Now they are going through our family room which is a longer and more tedious job because they are having to remove the old wallpaper. Jason's older brother Ryan came with them and stained the new patio door. The other one had to be replaced a while back because the wood had rotted and when it rained water was starting to leak inside.

They live in Richmond but assured me that they have traveled pretty good distances, a lot further away than Richmond to our house which is about two hours. Gregg and I had a real nice chat with them when they were ready to pack in for the day. I took a couple of candid shots, one in the famiy room and one as I heard the three of them laughing and teasing each other out on our deck. They made me smile and it was good to see them all get along so well, and I loved how Joe's sons called their Dad "Pops!"

Gregg had gone out to get the oil changed in his van and he popped into the store to pick up a few things we had forgotten the previous day. He saw that they already had Eggnog for sale and couldn't resist. He loves Eggnog and so do Jason and Ryan as when we asked them if they would like a glass they were happy to accept. Gregg enjoyed sharing a glass with them.

They will be coming back again to finish up the family room probably after Thanksgiving. We told them that we were not in a hurry to get things done, and we'd be happy whenever they could fit us in. If you live in the Richmond area and a little beyond, I can highly recommend them as they are very skilled at what they do, and with us not knowing one end of a paintbrush to the other, they were a Godsend.


Mid afternoon Jason spotted a hawk that landed on my neighbor's fence and told me about it. I think it was another Cooper's Hawk. His feathers were glistening beautifully in the sunlight. We couldn't help but admire him but he didn't hang around for long and flew off into the trees after a few minutes. Didn't have time to grab the camera but I was content this time just to have seen him.

We drove over to see Brad on Sunday but did not get to see Lisa as she was working all day. We were glad that we got to see her a few days ago though, as we all got together for a few hours and always have a lovely time together.

Over the weekend we have had sunny weather. On Saturday it got up to 67 degrees, Sunday was a little bit cooler but the weather was still glorious. I saw this gorgeous tree in their apartment complex.

Here's mom and son near his apartment building.

We went into Vienna and had lunch at the Noodle Company. I liked this old building with the shops on the ground floor.

I don't think it will be long before the tables and umbrellas will be stored up for the winter. Even with the beautiful day it was a bit too cold to sit outside.

When we got back to the apartment I am still taking photos of pretty trees and here are the boys waiting and having a chat on the stairs.

They're so patient with me.



But those golden leaves glistening in the sunlight were too pretty to pass up and they understand.


We went upstairs and stayed for another hour before we left for home, where we spent the rest of the day. Gregg got outside and picked up a load of leaves for tomorrow's pick up. I'm glad the ones on the trees at Lisa and Brad's apartment hung around long enough for me to get my photos.

Have a great week everyone and thank you for visiting and leaving your very kind comments.

18 comments:

Kay said...

I loved seeing the photos of you and Gregg with Brad. We have also always enjoyed getting to know the people who work in our home.

I've always worried about squirrels damaging the screens at our home. I've tried to keep them away from our windows. So far so good, but now there are chipmunks digging around the house. They're so cute but can undermine the foundation. Sigh.

Leora said...

I'm putting together a post of recipes - I will add a link to your Coconut Soup. I don't know if anyone would make it for Thanksgiving, but it certainly looks like an intriguing recipe.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for sharing your photos and telling about the events happening around your house. How funny that the squirrels are actually asking you for food! They are almost tamed!

Out on the prairie said...

Like the soup recipe.I ate a noodle salad in WA at a Thai restruant that serves just that with different meats. They made the dressing with the fish sauce so I have a big bottle I got online. I use it on steaks for the grill also.

If you saw a Coopers hawk , good chance you will see it again. They watch feeders, gleaning a few sparrows in my yard that all roost in a large spruce tree.

Valerie said...

Never heard of giner flavoured soy sauce... must look out for it. I like anything with ginger in it. Hubs and I have only eaten Thai food in restaurants but we both like it. I'm at the age when eating out is preferred if only to avoid excessive cooking sessions.
Our squirrels wait for their breakfast, usually sitting upright on top of one of the stone bird houses. They seem to think it's theirs not the birds...grins.

MarieElizabeth said...

There is a lot going on at your place! Thanks for the recipe, that soup is calling my name.

KaHolly said...

Soup sounds tasty, but I'm not fond of coconut. You guys are pretty busy! Great post, very interesting today.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I would love the soup Denise, but not too sure about Bob. I may give it a try though. Lovely to hear about your weekend and the pictures of those beautiful golden leaves are perfect. A x

Margaret Cloud said...

I also enjoy the pictures of you, Gregg and Brad. It is always nice to have a good relation with people that come to our homes. I like the crock pot meal but I am diabetic so no can make, sounds so good. I like feeding the squirrels also. We had a rake propped up by the window I throw nuts out, so one day I went to throw some and this squirrel had climbed up the rake and was peeking in, as if to say "hurry up, we are hungry".

matron said...

I wish our squirrels were as tame as yours,I have great difficulty getting a photo of them.
I enjoyed reading your post and loved the pictures of your family.
As for the coconut soup,I am going to have a go at this,sounds delicious.
Have a lovely Thanksgiving,
Carolyn.

abrahamlincolnphotography said...

Really very nice set of photos for this post. The soup is something that sounds good to me because I love coconut but some people around here wouldn't even eat a Mounds bar.

Carver said...

The recipe sounds good. I haven't made soup in awhile and I'll have to try that one. I enjoyed all your shots, the autumn leaves and you and your family. Good luck with the redecorating. I know it will be great to have it finished.

Gill - That British Woman said...

well that was a good "catch up" Denise.......never had a squirrel run around the screens on the windows before, very interesting.

Gill in Canada

gigi-hawaii said...

I have never tried a crockpot. Am debating whether to buy one. The trouble is I have such limited counter space...

Glad you managed to slip in a few pics of people... lol

ascu75 aka Don said...

Glad you had a good time. The leaves on our neighbours tree have a few leaves that are stubornly hanging on in there. Heather has been bagging those that have fallen up we haven't got as many last year because one of there trees was rotten and had to be cut down. Have a good week. XXX Don

Cezar and Léia said...

You are always talented with new delicious receipts, thanks so much!I'm taking my notes here!
I love your picture with your son!
Hugs
Léia

Biz said...

I am definitely going to make that soup - right up my alley!

Have you ever tried lemon grass? It adds a whole new dimension of flavors to the dish - just an extra zing of citrus - but don't eat it, it just flavors the broth.

Anonymous said...

hi