Thai Style Shrimp and Rice Soup

This is another one of those “how could I not have blogged about this before” type recipes.  I’ve been making it for years, and if you’re a fan of southeast Asian flavors, you’re going to love it, too.   

I’m a curry paste junkie, which I know sounds crazy (does anyone else out there have an ingredient they collect or inadverently hoard?).  I looked in the fridge this morning and there were at least six jars of different flavored pastes.  I opened up a jar of green and measured out a tablespoon for the soup.  Twenty minutes later I tasted the broth and it was powerful hot.  I mean, like my nose was running and my eyes were watering and I thought I was going to have to toss out the whole batch.  But I pressed on and went ahead and made the whole thing.  Luckily with the addition of all the other ingredients, the broth seems to have toned down a little.  Does anyone know:  do these pastes get hotter the longer they sit in the fridge?  ‘Cause holy spicy man, I must’ve had this jar since we moved in fifteen years ago.

The long and the short of it:  I doubt seriously that any of these DamKids will be dining on this soup this evening.  The Husband and I will eat it for three days and that’ll actually be okay with me because personally, I think it’s deeeee lish.  Hope you do, too.  : )

THAI STYLE SHRIMP & RICE SOUP
SERVES: 8 as a main course
SOURCE:  epicurious.com

8 c. chicken broth (Emeril’s Brand Stocks are on sale)
4 c. water
1 T. Thai green curry paste (**see note)
1 – 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 t. coriander seeds, crushed
2 c. loosely packed whole cilantro leaves, plus 1/2 c. chopped cilantro (**see note)
1 c. jasmine rice
3/4 c. large shrimp, peeled and deveined; tails removed if desired (Sendik’s Cleaned Raw or Cooked Shrimp are on sale)
1  (13-to 14-oz. ) can unsweetened coconut milk, stirred well (Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk is on sale)
1/4 lb. snow peas, trimmed and julienned
2 T. Asian fish sauce (add this a little at a time if you’re leery; it’s pretty pungent)
2 T. fresh lime juice (add it a little at a time)
1 1/2 t. salt, or to taste

Combine broth, water, curry paste, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds and whole cilantro leaves in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, then simmer uncovered, until ginger is softened, about 15 minutes.  Pour through a paper towel-lined sieve into a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot and discard the solids.  Stir the rice into the soup and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.

Add shrimp to soup and poach at a bare simmer, uncovered, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Stir in coconut milk, snow peas, and fish sauce and simmer, uncovered, until peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, salt, and chopped cilantro.  Serve at once.

**NOTE:  1). Since I have this crazy collection going, sometimes I swap in red curry paste with no huge difference in the overall flavor of the soup.
2).  If I have them hanging around, I’ll add a handful of fresh mint and basil to the broth step.  If you’re not a cilantro fan (HI DAD), definitely swap it out for mint and basil.  : )

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | April 24th, 2012