Thai Rice Noodle Soup

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 30 minutes Resting time: 10 minutes

Serves:8

This resembles a creamy coconut-based Thai soup, but it is made with almond milk and coconut extract instead of coconut milk so it is a much healthier choice. The hotness can be adjusted to suit your tastes by using more or less curry paste and Sambal Oelek. This does make a large amount but it keeps well in the refrigerator. (It was so good that last week I ate this for lunch 5 days in a row.)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces thin rice noodles or pad Thai noodles
  • 1/4 cup shallots, diced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 2 pieces lemongrass (1 1/2 inches each)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Sambal chili paste
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups Napa cabbage, sliced
  • 1 cup baked tofu (optional)
  • 1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup snow peas, cut in half if large
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

Directions

Cook rice noodles according to package directions, rinse in cold water and set aside. (Cover with plastic wrap to retain softness.)

Place the shallots and 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth in a large soup pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots soften slightly.

Add the curry paste, curry powder, ginger and garlic. Cook and stir until well combined.

Add the remaining vegetable broth, the lemongrass, soy sauce and Sambal Oelek. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then add the green onions, cabbage, tofu and oyster mushrooms. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the snow peas, spinach, almond milk and coconut extract. Heat through. Remove lemongrass. Add the cooked rice noodles, remove from heat and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Hints: The thin rice noodles cook up with more volume than the pad thai-type noodles so there will be more noodles in the soup with the thin noodles. The flavors do intensify as the soup rests and I like it even better the next day. If you choose not to use the tofu, add a few extra oyster mushrooms, if desired. If you like cilantro, add some to the soup before serving.