Coconut Lime Soup with Scallopsfrom Sunday Soup
by Betty Rosbottom from Chronicle Books
Ingredients:3 stalks lemongrass (see note)
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (see note)
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (see note)
3/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
12 ounces sea scallops, connective tissue removed and discarded
3 teaspoons lime zest for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges for garnish
Makes 6 servings
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When the temperatures soar and you want to minimize your time in the kitchen, this soup comes to the rescue. It contains the hot-sweet-salty-sour flavors that are essential to Southeast Asian cuisines: coconut milk provides sweetness, fish sauce adds saltiness, red pepper flakes give it some heat, while lime juice and lemongrass are tart accents. Typically, chicken would be added to this soup, but I use scallops instead.
Remove the tough outer layers from the lemongrass stalks and discard them. Cut off and discard about an inch of the woody base from each stalk. Starting at the bases and cutting up to where the leaves begin to branch, thinly slice lemongrass crosswise to yield 1/4 cup.
Combine the chicken stock, sliced lemongrass, and minced ginger in a medium, hevy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Strain stock through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl; return broth to pan and discard contents of strainer.
Add coconut milk, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, and lime juice to pan and bring to a simmer. (Soup can be prepared to this point 4 hours ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat before continuing.)
Slice each scallop horizontally into three rounds, then cut rounds in half to form half-moon shapes.
Add the scallops to soup and cook until opaque and cooked through, for 2 to 3 minutes. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed
Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Garnish each serving with '/2 teaspoon lime zest and 2 teaspoons cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges to squeeze into soup.
At the market notes:
Coconut milk and Thai fish sauce are available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets. Thai Kitchen brand is widely available.
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