Rich Thai flavours bright enough for a summer’s evening pair beautifully with sweet roasted capsicum and coconut milk. I want to swan-dive into a vast sea of this soup and have to slurp my way out. It’s that good. Be prepared for big, bold bowls of thick, luscious, soup, so desirable you will hope your spoon never hits the bottom.
I have been lusting after some deep, rich, Thai flavours after reminiscing with Chris about a Thai place that we went to early in our dating days. As well as making a killer chocolate thickshake (I know, weird, but it’s become our yardstick for thickshakes now), they made a rich red Thai curry. Plates heaped with fragrant sauce and colourful vegetables passed by our table multiple times while we were sipping on Chris’s thickshake and waiting for our dinner; unfortunately it wasn’t gluten free but out of curiosity (and lusty taste buds) I needed to experience red curry for myself. I instantly fell in love with the complex nature of red curry, and over the past few months it has been my comfort food of choice. During the long hot days of summer red curry is welcome for its bright, sharp relief and richness, without the cloying creaminess of other classic comfort foods.
Now, I know turning the oven on in the middle of summer isn’t very attractive, and standing over a pot of simmering soup even less so. I am one of those people who doesn’t mind turning her oven on even on the hottest of days, and I am forever grateful we have a super air-conditioner. If you are not thus inclined (or blessed), you can take a short cut and use roasted capsicum from the delicatessen, and the soup only needs to simmer for about thirty minutes before you can take a break from the heat and let the soup, and your body, cool down. In those thirty minutes you can stand underneath the air-conditioning and become an icicle once more. When the scent of ginger, lemongrass, and chilli starts wafting from your kitchen, all you need to do is pour a glass of crisp white wine, and open the kitchen window a little wider to let the summer night breeze in.
Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup
Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3 and is easily doubled
Note: to make this super quick you can use pre-cooked capsicum from the deli. You will need about 8 large pieces for this recipe.
WARNING: DO NOT BLEND HOT SOUP.
- 2 medium red capsicums (see note)
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 small washed potatoes
- 1 long red chilli
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste (I use Ayam)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup light coconut milk
- Coriander leaves for serving
- Preheat your oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Cut out the core of the capsicums, chop into four slices, and lay each piece skin-side up on the lined baking sheet. Cook until skin starts to blister and pull away from the flesh, this should take about 20 minutes. Place capsicum in a plastic container and loosely cover with the lid and a tea towel. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Once the capsicum is cooled, peel the skin off the capsicum pieces and chop roughly.
- While the capsicum is cooking, peel and dice the onion, carrots, garlic and potatoes. Finely dice the red chilli and discard the seeds.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add onion, carrots, garlic and potatoes. Cook, while stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add chopped capsicum, red curry paste and black pepper. Stir until coated and cook for a further five minutes.
- Add vegetable stock and bring soup to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and allow to bubble away for thirty minutes, or until potato and carrot are quite soft.
- Remove soup from the heat and allow to cool completely before blending in batches, or using a stick blender to purée until smooth.
- Place soup back over a low heat and add coconut milk. Reheat until gently bubbling. Serve with extra coconut milk and a sprinkling of coriander leaves.
Tell me, dear reader, are you a fan of Thai food? Do you have any Thai dishes you like to make at home, or are your take-out menu favourites?