I guess I could have come up with a better name. Perhaps Chef’s Amazing Thai-Style Mushroom Savoy Cabbage Soup with Bean Sprouts and Fennel?
No, that’s ridiculous. I’m just calling it Thai Soup. Feel free to call it something else. I don’t know if it’s totally authentic Thai, but it seems like it is (and yes, even though I haven’t been to Thailand, I’ve eaten some authentic Thai food.) Anyway, the soup was good, no matter what you call it.
We fed about 12 people with this, and had enough left over for several lunches and dinners. So it probably feeds about 20. I’m not even going to try to adjust the recipe for you because I’m sure it would turn out awful. I’m not so good at math. If you’re going to make it, either plan to feed a crowd or do your own conversions.
A hunk of fresh ginger, peeled and julienned (No, I don’t know how much a hunk is. About two tablespoons, I’m guessing.)
Basil and cilantro. We’d have used fresh herbs if we had them, but we didn’t. We used these frozen herb cubes, which worked pretty well. I mean, really. It’s December.
2 red onions, cut into small wedges
1/2 head of fennel, julienned
About a gallon of chicken or turkey broth (oh yeah, using up the Thanksgiving turkey broth leftovers!)
Juice of 4 limes
Splash of lemon juice.
Mushrooms. We used two packages of sliced baby bella, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. I think probably any mushrooms would be fine.
One bunch of green onions, sliced
One bunch of asparagus, with the woody ends cut off and the rest cut into one inch pieces
One half head of Savoy cabbage, cut in a tight chiffonade (That means sliced very, very thin — about 1/8 inch)
2 packages of bean sprouts
2 cans of coconut milk (We get ours at the Dollar General for $1 a can! Awesome!)
One small hot pepper, or hot sauce, to taste.
In oil, saute the ginger and herbs. Actually, Chef said it wasn’t really sauteeing, but rather just sweating the ginger. I don’t like the sound of the word “sweat” when it comes to cooking, though. But cook it just a little until it’s sort of hot and soft. Add the onions and fennel. Cook until the onions are transparent. Add the lime and lemon juices to deglaze the pan, then add the broth. Let it get all nice and hot, and let the flavors mix all together. Add the mushrooms and green onions. If desired, add some meat, too. We used venison tenderloin because we had it, but some leftover chicken or turkey would work well, too. Add the cabbage and hot pepper. Pour in the coconut milk. Just a few minutes before you’re about to serve, add the asparagus and bean sprouts. You want the asparagus to still be a little bit crispy, and you don’t want soggy sprouts, so don’t put them in too early!
If you like, serve with some Jasmine rice. Most of our guest ate the soup over the rice, but the soup was also really good on its own.
If you adjust this to reasonable proportions (like, serving 6 or 8 instead of 20), feel free to post it on your own blog, but if you do, please include a link to this post. I want Chef to get the credit he deserves here. ‘Cause this soup was all Chef. I did nothing but peel the ginger, wedge the onions, and take the photos.