This recipe is based on one of my favorite Thai soups. During my last vacation in Thailand, my cousin took Mr. Superfoodista and me on a day trip to Ayutthaya, which is Thailand’s ancient capital. Just before the entrance to the town, there is this amazing restaurant, which is basically a huge, floating boat on the water. The restaurant is famous (among the locals only!) for it’s grilled shrimps and other fresh, local seafood. We had a lovely feast, while enjoying the cool breeze of the river and the nice company.
Of course, we also had to order a “Tom Yum Goong”, a traditional, clear soup, made with a lemongrass-infused broth and lots of seafood. As this was made for the locals, it was really quite spicy and I had just a tiny bit, as I can’t eat spicy at all – despite being half Thai! 😉
Today’s recipe is inspired by this traditional soup and I wanted to use the fragrant flavors that the wonderful ingredients of this soup create to infuse a quinoa soup with it. The outcome was this totally delicious and flavorful Fusion soup – of course with a Superfood twist.
This soup contains following Superfoods:
Ingredients: (for 1 meal portion or 2 appetizer portions)
- 1 1/2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 stem of lemongrass
- 3 – 4 keffir lime leaves
- 1/2 piece of ginger (about 1 inch long, or 3 cm)
- 1 handful Cherry tomatoes
- 1 handful mushrooms
- 1 finely chopped carrot
- 8 large shrimps (optional, for non-vegans and non-vegetarians)
- 2 tbsp cilantro, finely cut
- 1/2 lime, the freshly squeezed juice
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted chili paste (optional, for some extra savory taste and spiciness – not suitable for strict vegetarians)
On this picture you can see the main ingredients that create the wonderful fragrant flavors: lime, lemongrass, ginger and the keffir lime leaves.
The use of the roasted chili paste is optional. I find it gives the soup a nice, rounded flavor with some additional notes, as the paste also contains other ingredients than chili (e.g. shallots, dried shrimps and fish sauce – just to name a few). I found this (rather “westernized”) product at my local supermarket, but you should be able to find a variety of authentic products in Asian food stores as well.
- Cut lemongrass stem into smaller pieces, peel and cut ginger, crush keffir lime leaves and put into broth, bring to boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes or longer if you can to bring out the flavor
- Add carrot pieces and quinoa, cook for about 5 minutes, then add the cherry tomatoes and the mushrooms
- Cook until quinoa and the veggies are tender (about 10 more minutes)
- If you add shrimps: add them in the last 2 minutes of the cooking process so they don’t overcook
- Add the lime juice and the chili paste, season to taste with some pepper and salt
- Put into a serving bowl, sprinkle with some fresh cilantro
Note: Lemongrass, keffir lime and ginger pieces are not supposed to be eaten, they are just to give the amazing flavor to the soup. Instead of adding the other ingredients right away, you can also remove the lemongrass, keffir lime and ginger first, so you do not have any inedible pieces in the soup, however, I left them in and just removed them as I ate the soup – that’s how they do it in Thailand as well, leave in all the ingredients! 😉