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Recipes | Gaeng Laeng Soup

Gaeng Leang Soup
Kabocha squash soup with miso, Thai basil and Asian vegetables

Contributed by Pranee K. Halvorsen

This is the unknown jewel of Thai soups – a country dish that combines fresh seasonal vegetables with Thai herbs and spices. The best known of all vegetables for this soup is kabocha squash; its sweet flavor and smooth texture enrich the soup. Great served warm, it can also be served chilled on a hot summer day.

  • 4 chopped shallots, about 1/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoons miso, or more as needed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups young corn, halved
  • 3 cups kabocha or West Indian pumpkin or buttercup, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 dried red chili peppers ground into powder OR 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or as needed
  • 2 cups Thai purple basil leaves, washed and torn

In mortar, pound shallots with miso together until it becomes a paste. Put the paste in a large pot with water and bring to boil. Stir in young corn, kabocha and shiitake mushroom and let boil for 5 minutes or until kabocha becomes partially translucent. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Cook for 5 more minute before serving.

Cook’s note: Serve this soup when all ingredients are cooked or keep cooking until the squash blends in with the liquid. As the seasons change, substitute seasonal vegetables such as cucumber, eggplant or asparagus for the squash.

Serves: 6 to 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Copyright: Pranee K. Halvorsen, Instructor, PCC Natural Markets PCC Cooks classes

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