This soup is very quick and easy to make so it is one of my favourites to throw together if I come home from work feeling really hungry. You can whip it up in less than ten minutes, but it is bursting with delicious Thai flavours. It’s very filling as a quick snack on it’s own, or as a meal with a side of rice. I sometimes add in thinly sliced red peppers or wilted greens to the recipe. The quantities of the ingredients can be adjusted according to your tastes, I like mine super spicy, and sometimes I add a little extra galangal and lemon grass.
I know that a lot of people worry about the saturated fat content in coconut milk. You can use the reduced fat variety if you want to, but I never do as it skimps on some of the flavour! It’s true that coconut milk is high in saturated fat, but as part of a balanced plant based (or mostly plant based) diet a little saturated fat is nothing to fear! A plant based saturated fat like coconut milk is also very different from animal based saturated fats. The fat contained in pure, unrefined coconut milk and coconut oil can be viewed as a ‘good’ saturated fat as it does not lead to the same health risks which come from a diet high in ‘bad’ animal based saturated fats. That’s not to say that you can consume ten cans of coconut milk a day, but as with everything else, if eaten in moderation there there should be no cause for concern.
Coconut milk contains significant amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, as well as selenium and zinc. It is also rich in anti oxidants and lauric acid which has anti bacterial and anti viral properties.
As with all other oils, it is important to note that you should only consume unrefined coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is drastically different from natural extra virgin coconut oil. In order to refine an oil, it must be hydrogenised with chemical solvents. The hydrogenation process creates a highly processed oil which has been stripped of it’s nutrients and now contains harmful trans fats. This is the reason why I always advocate using organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil rather than hydrogenated vegetable oils. Coconut oil is also very stable at high temperatures making it an ideal oil for cooking with. I tend to mostly stick with olive oil for raw food and salad dressings.
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1- 4 fresh chillies, sliced
- 1 cup sweet corn
- 1/2 tbsp dried galangal, soaked & finely chopped
- 400ml coconut milk
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 4 kafir lime leaves
- 3 tbsp fresh corriander, finely chopped
- 1 stalk fresh lemon grass, sliced
- 1 tsp thai 7 spice powder
Fry the onion for several minutes until browning. Add the coconut milk and bring slowly to the boil, and then reduce the heat to medium low and allow the milk to thicken slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow the soup to simmer for five to ten minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. At this point, add 1-2 cups water, or more, depending on how thick you would like the consistency. I usually just add 1 cup of water, which makes 2 very large bowls, or 4 smaller bowls.