The weather in Cincinnati has been in a bit of limbo. While the nights and mornings are cool, the actual days are pretty hot. I wanted to make a soup, but I didn’t want anything super heavy or creamy in deference to the weather.
And lo and behold my CSA came with both corn and okra as a sort of last ode to summer since I’m not expecting to really get much, if any, more corn.
I tried to keep the broth for this soup really simple in order to keep the focus on the flavor of the vegetables. I decided to go Thai with it since I had some red curry paste in my fridge and I love how Thai food seeks to balance the influences of hot, salty, sweet and sour.
I’ll admit that at first bite it wasn’t a knock your socks off soup. But the more of it I ate, the more and more I liked it until both my husband and I were slurping at our bowls trying to get the last bit of vegetable infused broth from the bottom. At first the flavor is deceptively simple but as you continue to eat you pick up more of the nuances.
A note – I don’t think red curry paste is particularly “hot” although I’ve heard other people comment that they find it spicy. If you’re worried, I’d start with half the amount of the recommended curry paste in the soup and just add more at the end as you like.
I also highly suggest that you serve this soup with both sriacha and lime wedges at the table to really take the flavors to another level. I really enjoyed adding both lime juice and copious amount of sriacha to my portion. My husband used just a bit of both the sriacha and lime.
To press tofu: Cover a plate with a paper towel. Remove tofu from package and place on paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and a small plate plus a can to weigh it down for at least 30 minutes. This allows more moisture to be removed from the tofu.
- 4 ears of corn, kernels cut off (12 to 16 oz of frozen corn may be substituted)
- 1 lb okra, ends cut off and sliced
- 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
- 14 oz package of firm tofu
- 2 – 3 Tbsp Thai red curry paste, divided
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (de-seed for less heat)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup green onions, sliced
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Sriacha, to garnish
- Lime wedges, on side
- Press tofu (read summary under recipe title if you’re unsure about how to do this). Cut into 8 equal slices, width-wise. Combine 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste with 1 tsp canola oil and brush over both sides of tofu. Warm 2 tsp canola oil in large skillet over medium high heat and cook tofu slices for about 3 – 4 minutes per side or until a nice crust has formed. When done, remove from pan and allow to cool. Once cool, cut each slice into small cubes.
- Combine 1 ½ cups of broth with 1 ½ cups of corn kernels in a food process and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp canola oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for about 3 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add 2 Tbsp red curry paste, garlic and green onions and cook for another 3 minutes or until everything has combined.
- Add the remaining 1 ½ cups of broth, the broth/corn mixture, fish sauce, corn and okra. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until okra has softened and cooked through
- Stir in tofu and cilantro and cook uncovered for about 1 more minute or until tofu has warmed through. Taste and adjust any seasonings – does it need more curry paste, etc? Serve with sriacha and lime wedges at the table. Or if you’re like me you can always stir a bit of sriacha (1 tsp) and lime juice (1 tsp) in at this point to begin with and then have more at the table for people to adjust their serving as necessary.
I haven’t had a chance to eat the leftovers yet (that’s tomorrow’s lunch) but I can’t wait to eat this soup again.