Self-Soup-Medicating

A perfect storm of me being sick, hungry and well... being ME led to an impromptu yet so damn good I'd be ashamed to not write it down soup recipe to share with you today. This is essentially a "leftover stew" made from whatever I had lying around a couple hours ago when hunger struck, with no desire at all to leave the house for additional supplies. The flavor is tremendous, enough so to cut right through the post-illness-malaise and wake up the senses with great aroma, flavors and a perfect amount of heat. Follow along and remember - it's soup - taste, taste, taste and adjust to your liking as you go. I have also included substitutions on the ingredient list, as I realize my staples and leftovers are probably rather exotic to the general public. Also worth reiterating:  it's soup. Approximate values are fine - If you have an extra carrot and room in the pot, dice it up and throw it in. The Software:
  • 2 tbl olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 6-8 ribs of celery, chopped thin
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped thin
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbl minced garlic
  • 12 oz chicken stock
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbl shrimp/chili paste*
  • 1 tbl garlic/chili paste*
  • 1 tbl bean/chili paste (Toban Jan)*
  • 1 tbl Golden Boy fish sauce (or any available)
  • 1 tbl Penzey's sweet curry (any red or yellow curry powder or paste will do)
  • 1 tbl Penzey's sweet basil (or fresh if available)
  • 2 tbl cilantro, flat parsley or both, more to taste and for garnish
  • 2 packets instead dashi soup powder (a tbl or two of soy sauce works in a pinch.)
  • 1/2 brick dried ramen noodle per serving
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
* The various chili pastes all bring depth and warmth to the soup, so use however much of whatever combinations you have on hand and desire, the results will all be delicious. Method: In a large stock pot, heat the oil til shimmering, then add the onions, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt and pepper (aka the mirepoix) and simmer until just tender, adding the garlic about 5 minutes into the process, stir things around as needed to avoid browning. Bump up the heat and add the chicken stock, coconut milk, chili pastes, curry powder, dashi powder, ginger and fish sauce. Give it all a good stir and continue to heat til just at a tremble, then back off the heat to keep it there. No need to boil, as our veg it already cooked. Stir in the Basil, Cilantro, Parsley and lime juice. TASTE, TASTE, TASTE and make any adjustments you desire - even something as simple as a few drops of plain old tobasco will liven the party in interesting ways. Just before serving, crack the ramen into halves and add it to the pot, covering it with soup to soften to desired texture. I prefer my ramen a bit toothy, so my soup was ready to serve in 60 seconds. Scoop a hunk of ramen into a bowl, and cover with a scoop of the veg and a scoop of broth and serve immediately. Garnish with a dash of coconut milk and a pinch of additional basil / cilantro / parsely as desired. I dropped a couple quail eggs into my bowl, but that's just how I roll. ;) It's that simple. Go make you some! -///
A consummate nerd, yet still plays well with others.

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