It’s asparagus season so get ready for a GLUT (ok maybe two or three) asparagus recipes from me… starting with this lovely coconut soup.
This is enough for one, or for two if you’re making it as part of a multi-dish meal.
If you’re serving this with rice, make the rice first and leave it to keep warm and fluffy while you make the soup.
Take a good handful of asparagus spears and snap the woody ends off.
I love that you can’t really judge where the right point would be to cut them off but instead just bend them back and where they naturally want to snap is of course is the exact right place for them to snap (I feel there’s a life lesson in here somewhere too).
Slice the asparagus spears into smaller lengths and put into a bowl with about a quarter of a white onion and a few mushrooms, washed and chopped.
So far, our ingredients have been:
8 or so asparagus stalks
1/4 white onion
And we’ll also need:
1 red birds eye chilli, diced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into slices
1 stalk of lemongrass, outer woody layers removed, the bottom and top inch or so cut off and then sliced into rounds
a few kaffir lime leaves, torn from the stalk and then torn again into smaller pieces
half a tin of coconut cream plus half a tin of water (or use coconut milk)
four cherry tomatoes, halved (or a couple of larger tomatoes, cut into chunks)
a pinch of sugar
a dash of fish sauce
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
half a lime
Get the chilli, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves together so it’s ready to add to the soup and then put the coconut cream and water into a pan and gently bring to a simmer.
I think it’s good to be gentle with the coconut milk mixture so let it breathe and take its time.
When it’s just about simmering, add the aromatics (the chilli, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves), stir and again just wait until it comes back to that almost-simmer.
Then tip in the vegetables, stir and bring to a proper gentle simmer - and cook for five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, sugar and fish sauce and stir and cook on a gentle simmer for another five minutes.
Taste and check if you want to add any more sugar or fish sauce and if it tastes good add the fresh coriander and squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and simmer for another minute.
Ladle into a bowl and serve with some rice.
I’ll leave you with a question …