This recipe has a flavor profile very much like a curry. Classic Thai ingredients such as lemon grass, ginger, fish sauce, coconut, and basil create a light and lively soup. Shrimp or chicken could be added for a more substantial meal. Cut all the vegetables in advance, so the actual assembly and cooking time is short.
red bell pepper (cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about 2/3 cup)
yellow onion (cut into 1/4-inch dice, about 1 cup)
minced fresh garlic
minced fresh ginger
Thai Green Curry Paste (or more to taste)
(14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
vegetable stock or water
Thai fish sauce (optional)
(packed) brown sugar
cubed, peeled potatoes (1/2-inch cubes)
peeled carrots (halved lengthwise, and sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch slices)
zucchini (halved lengthwise, and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (about 3/4 cup))
(4 ounces) fresh green beans (cut into 1-inch pieces)
thinly sliced fresh basil
Juice of 1 lime
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the pepper and onion until the vegetables begin to soften and color, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and green curry paste, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, and sugar to the pot, and bring to a simmer.
Add the potatoes and carrots, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the vegetables just begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and continue to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Add the zucchini and green beans and cook, uncovered, until all the vegetables are crisp-tender, 5 to 10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more stock or water to thin slightly.
Stir in the basil and lime juice and serve hot.