Tom Kai Gai

This is the classic Thai chicken coconut milk soup. It is superbly easy to make, and wonderful as a meal or side dish. It is also great for easing a sore throat or beating a cold.

Ingredients
8oz sliced chicken breast
1 C water
1 large can (20 oz) coconut milk
½ -1T tom kai paste
15 thin slices galangal
1 stalk lemon grass
5  Kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 T palm sugar
3 T fish sauce
3 T lime/lemon juice
chili flakes to taste
Cilantro

Directions
1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Add lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chicken. Simmer for 7 minutes.
3. Turn down the heat and add the coconut milk.
4. Flavor with lemon juice, sugar, chili flakes, and fish sauce.
5. Serve with cilantro on top

Vegan version:

Ingredients
8oz sliced tofu
1 C water
1 large can (20 oz) coconut milk
½ -1T  tom kai paste
15 thin slices galangal
1 stalk lemon grass
5  Kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 T palm sugar
3 T lime/lemon juice
chili flakes to taste

Spring Vegetable Soup

This soup is fast, easy, nutritious and delicious – just the way I like it. It is also perfect for this time of year. To make a vegan version, use olive oil and one of the non-dairy cream options. For a Thai spin, use the coconut milk and add some Tom Yum paste, kiffer lime leaves, ginger, and galangal. Oh, and LOTS of red pepper flakes!

INGREDIENTS

•    2 T  butter or olive oil
•    1 pound leeks, chopped
•    1 onion, chopped
•    2 quarts water
•    3 large potatoes, chopped (I leave these out since I am allergic to them)
•    2 large carrots, chopped
•    1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
•    1/3 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
•    3 teaspoons salt
•    1/2 pound fresh spinach
•    1 cup heavy cream or toffuti soy sour cream or coconut milk.

DIRECTIONS

1. Melt the butter/oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and onion, and cook until tender.
2. Pour water into the pot. Mix in potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and rice. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
3. Stir spinach and cream into the soup mixture, and continue cooking about 5 minutes before serving.