Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spicy Coconut Milk and Mushroom Soup

It started innocently enough with my 3 jalapeño curry, the fella amped it up with 4 Serrano in his pea and paneer dish and the chef shamed us with this evilly delicious soup. There were 5 unseeded habenaros involved. I think it is safe to say I will not be continuing the spicy cooking challenge by making a jerk sauce with 6 Scotch bennet peppers. I'm okay with letting Jacob win, he is after all the professional.

The really amazing thing about the soup was that not only was it hot but it was tasty as well. Yes it made us all cry in the very best way while clutching our beers (mine sorghum from Red Bridge and theirs Founder's wet hopped seasonal) but it also had great flavor. The habenaros open up every taste bud you never knew you had to all the other things going in the soup. Citrusy lemon grass, salty fish sauce, herbal cilantro, creamy coconut milk. They all work together to make something amazing.

We're all crazy people who like spice so the heat wasn't a problem for us. If you aren't up for that much spice you can put in less peppers or cook some of the heat off of them by frying up the onion puree which will cut the spice a bit. And if the spice is still too much in the finished product you can do what we resorted to and pour it over some brown rice and toss in some paneer to add something to compete with the habenaros.

Spicy Coconut Milk and Mushroom Soup

1 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, chopped

3tablespoon lemon grass puree
1teaspoon fish sauce

5 cloves of garlic
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
5 habenaro peppers, seeded

3 cups coconut milk
6 Cubeb peppercorns, ground (1 teaspoon of regular pepper and a pinch of clove would work fine)
2 1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (mint or basil will work as well)

In a pot heat oil over medium heat then add mushrooms and one of the chopped onions. Cook until browned. Add lemon grass and fish sauce.

Puree remaining onion, garlic, ginger and habenaros in the food processor. Add in one cup of the coconut milk and puree until you have a paste. If you want to lesson the heat of the soup sauté this puree until the onions are no longer raw before adding to the pot with the mushroom mixture.

To soup pot add remaining 2 cups of coconut milk, peppercorns, and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add cilantro and simmer soup for 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice with paneer or tofu to cut spice if needed.

A purely original Jacob Schenk recipe.

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