Spicy Zucchini and Corn Soup with Red Curry and Crispy Tofu

July 31, 2014 § 2 Comments

spicy zucchini corn soup in bowl

Is it becoming apparent that I eat versions of the same meals over and over again? First I bombarded you with a quiche and a tart within days of each other, and now I’m back with a soup that probably sounds awfully similar to this one. I promise, though, that the coconut milk and red curry paste take this soup in a totally different, and welcome, direction. I got inspired by Tracy from Shutterbean, who recently shared her Thai Corn Coconut Soup. I’m pretty sure I’ve looked at that recipe every day since she posted it! I used Tracy’s recipe, but made a few tweaks.

chicken broth curry paste and coconut milk

 

 

 

zucchini corn onion for soup

I love the flavor and creaminess of coconut milk, but my stomach is wimpy and can’t always handle a lot of it, so I dialed back the coconut milk and increased the amounts of broth and water, which I learned from 101 Cookbooks. Heidi suggests diluting full fat coconut milk with broth and/or water so you still get the flavor of the coconut milk (light coconut milk just doesn’t pack the same punch). I also had some zucchini on hand (ah, the hardships of summer), and figured throwing an extra vegetable in would help bulk the soup up a bit and compensate for any lost creaminess from using less coconut milk.

tofu marinade ingredients tofu cubes in marinade

I baked up some tofu cubes to throw on top of the soup (Tracy suggests shrimp, which also sounds delicious). I love baking tofu–it gets crispy and crunchy, and requires very little babysitting. You toss it with some pantry/fridge items, and leave it in the oven to crisp up.baked tofu on foil

Everything was going swimmingly, and then…I dropped my iPhone in the pot of soup. Yep. IN THE SOUP! I was trying to snap a photo for the blog, and in went the iPhone. The hilarious thing was that when I managed to scoop my iPhone out of the soup (I mean, how ridiculous is this image), a little alert was on the screen that said “this charging accessory is not supported.” Noted, iPhone, that you do not accept spicy zucchini and corn soup as a charging mechanism.

onions and garlic red curry paste and onions adding zucchini and corn to soup

Somehow, my phone survived, thanks to my roommate Hilary’s quick thinking and this YouTube video (in case you too drop your iPhone in a pot of soup). Also, apparently I am not the first person to drop their phone in soup. These search results prompted Hilary and I to have a full on discussion about whether a broth-based soup or puree would be more damaging to the iPhone.

On that note, try this soup, but leave the iPhone out of it! I found the soup to be plenty creamy and flavorful, even with less coconut milk, and the tofu cubes add a nice texture. I followed Tracy’s lead and garnished my soup with some cilantro, jalapeño, red onion, and a squeeze of lime. I love these flavors–it was a welcome way to spice up my farmers market haul this week!

Spicy Zucchini and Corn Soup with Red Curry and Crispy Tofu

Slightly Adapted from Shutterbean

For the Soup

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (you can start with less and add more if you are worried about the heat level)

corn kernels from 2 ears of corn (you can use this method to cut the kernels off the cob)

2 medium zucchini or 3 small zucchini, sliced into thin coins

3 cups chicken stock

scant 1/4 cup coconut milk (I used somewhere between an 1/6 and a 1/4 of a 15 ounce can)

salt

pepper

For the Tofu

1 block extra firm tofu

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

a few squeezes of Sriracha

a few drizzles of honey

Garnishes

Cilantro sprigs

Red onion, sliced thin

Sliced jalapeños

Squeeze of lime juice

Prepare and bake the tofu:

  1. Press the water out of the tofu by placing the tofu between two paper towels, and setting on a plate. Then place a heavy pot, skillet, or can on top of the tofu. I use my panini pan. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 415 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, Sriracha, and honey.
  4. Cut the tofu into cubes. First, cut the block of tofu in thirds widthwise, so you have three thinner rectangular slices of tofu. Then cut each rectangle into cubes.
  5. Add the tofu to the bowl with the sauce and toss to coat.
  6. Spread the tofu out onto the lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip tofu cubes (I do my best to flip most of the cubes, but I don’t get too obsessive about it) and bake for another 15-25 minutes, until tofu is golden brown and crispy on the outside.

While the tofu is baking, make the soup:

  1. Add the olive oil to a soup pot and warm over medium heat.
  2. Add diced onion and minced garlic to the pot. Cook until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes or so), stirring occasionally.
  3. Add red curry paste and stir. Let simmer for about a minute.
  4. Add corn kernels, zucchini coins, chicken broth and coconut milk.
  5. Add water as necessary so the vegetables are covered. I added about a 1/3 of a cup.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes and stir every once in a while.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and puree with an immersion blender until smooth (or let cool and then transfer to a regular blender).
  8. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve:

  1.  Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with crispy tofu, cilantro sprigs, red onion slices, sliced jalapeños, and a squeeze of lime juice.

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