Beef and Coconut Soup
Updated: May 25, 2020
This is the ultimate soup. A southeast asian inspired delicacy, this soup is definitely more of a meal than it is a starter. It's one of those fun dishes that's served with condiments at the table so that everyone can personalize their bowl. The inspiration comes from the Burmese dish called "Khaw Suey" that I had in my childhood. My aunt learned of this soup from a friend and prepared it for me and my siblings, and I've since made it a hundred different ways over the years. In my version, a simple but effective paste is made at the beginning, and is browned in hot oil until all of the flavours marry. I also use ground beef rather than the traditional chicken. I find that ground meat makes this soup heartier, and gives it a "ramen" kind of vibe. This dish will impress anyone you make it for, so make sure you have enough for seconds.
Makes 3-4 servings
Ingredients: FOR THE PASTE 6-10 dried red chilies 1/4 white onion 1/4 red onion 1 inch piece of fresh ginger 3-4 cloves of garlic 2 tbs cilantro stems The stalks of 5 green onions (reserve the greens for topping the soup) 1/2 tsp salt 1 tbs olive oil
FOR THE SOUP 1/2 tbs olive oil 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp Thai red curry paste (optional) 250 grams ground beef (use 1 cup crumble tofu + 1/4 cup ground mushroom + 1 tbs soy sauce for #VeganOption) 1/2 tsp salt 5 cups water or broth of your choice 2 tbs soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free version) 1 tbs fish sauce (omit for #VeganOption) 2 tsp rice vinegar 1 tsp sugar 1 can coconut milk 1 carrot 1 small bell pepper 1 lime leaf (optional)
TO SERVE Noodles of your choice (rice noodles, ramen noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, spaghetti, etc)... Green onions, sliced (use the tops of green onions used in the paste) Cilantro Boiled eggs (omit for #VeganOption) Lemon or lime juice
Directions: 1. Place the dried chilies in a bowl and cover with enough boiling water to submerge them. Cover and let it sit for a minimum of 10 minutes. After they have plumped up, drain the liquid. Remove the seeds by either squeezing them out, or by slitting lengthwise and removing with the back of your knife. 2. In a small food processor or using a mortar and pestle, add all of the ingredients for the paste. Grind until you have a chunky paste (60-90 seconds depending on your processor). If the paste is too thick, add a little more olive oil to help it blend. This paste can also be made in a bullet blender, but it may need more liquid to help it blend. 3. Heat 1/2 tbs of olive oil in a medium to large saucepan. Add your paste along with the turmeric and Thai red curry paste, if using. Cook for 6-8 minutes over low heat, until the paste darkens in color. Stir often to avoid burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan. 4. Add the ground beef and 1/2 tsp of salt. (For #VeganOption, add a little more oil and add the tofu mixture). Cook for another 8 minutes, or until the meat has browned. Make sure to drain excess fat, or the soup will be to oily. 5. Add the water/broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. 6. After 20 minutes, taste for seasoning. If needed, you can add more salt here. Add the coconut milk, carrots, bell peppers, and lime leaf if using. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. 7. While the soup is simmering, prepare the noodles of your choice according to the package. Once cooked, put into the bottom of a bowl. 8. Ladle the soup over the noodles, and top with reserved green onion, cilantro, crushed peanuts, boiled egg, and lemon or lime juice.