This week we got more lemongrass and some snow peas as part of our CSA produce among other things. The bok choy went into yesterday’s meal. The yellow squash was added to my homemade broth. Next week, I will share what we have done with our abundance of pickling cucumbers, though several of them have gone straight into salads. The kale is destined for breakfast tomorrow. I still have to use the long beans before they go bad. I’ve been thinking of sauteing them and serving them with almonds for a snack, but I haven’t committed to that yet. What would you do with long beans?
I was starting to dread more lemongrass. I only have two recipes for using it so far and apparently our farmer is having a great lemongrass harvest this year. We tried brewing some of the lemongrass as tea since you can use the tough sections instead of just the softer parts for this application. The results were wonderful. The tea was a lovely delicate flavor that was very soothing when lightly sweetened. Now our farmer is selling pots of his lemongrass to transplant in our yard. I may have to get one now. Did you know that the lemongrass plants are good at repelling mosquitoes?
Tom Kha Gai is a traditional Thai dish that uses lemongrass as one of the prominent flavors. However, on a Friday, we leave out the Gai (chicken) and turn another direction. Many recipes for Tom Kha on the internet use tofu instead of chicken. Well, this wouldn’t be a soy free blog if I told you to do that. Some recipes, like this one, leave out the tofu altogether. I wanted to keep a good source of protein, so I tried using great northern beans. They have a neutral enough flavor that it didn’t change the dish. I wonder if you could puree the beans to add creaminess to this dish if you can’t use coconut milk. If you try that, let me know how it goes. Play with the vegetables in this soup until you find a combination that you like.
Vegan Tom Kha
1/2 medium onion, slivered
3 carrots, sliced
1 inch chunk ginger, minced
2 stalks lemongrass, minced
3 cups Homemade Vegetable Broth (more if desired)
4-5 cups water
3 cups cooked Great Northern beans (about 2 cans)
1 can coconut milk
Salt to taste
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 handful snow peas (whatever came from the farm, I didn’t measure)
3 T fresh basil, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced (optional, for garnish)
Put the first nine ingredients into your stock pot. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, and simmer until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the snow peas, basil, and cilantro. Simmer for about three more minutes until the peas are bright green and tender.
Serve in soup bowls and garnish with green onion.