1T canola oil
2T green curry paste (I buy it in enormous 2 cup tubs)
1" fresh ginger, peeled and in 1/4 slices
12 oz can diced tomatoes
3c stock (veggie or a light tasting chicken)
1 1/2 cups eggplant in 1" chunks (any kind, but I like the green Thai)
1 cup fresh shiitakes, sliced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups protein (cold Chinese roast duck or chicken, firm or fried tofu (aburage), etc.)
1T fish sauce
1T brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped cilantro and/or mint leaves
1 cup light coconut milk
Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Saute the curry paste and ginger, avoiding the fumes, until the paste begins to stick. Add in the tomatoes and all of the vegetables, then add stock to cover. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. On a very low boil, let the soup cook 15 minutes to bring out the vegetables' flavor. Add in the protein, fish sauce, sugar, herbs and coconut milk. Cook another 10 minutes to blend flavors, then taste for salt and serve. This keeps well for a day or two, and makes a soothing dinner on a cold night. For added bulk, add rice noodles.
VEGETARIANS: Substitute 1T soy sauce and 2t fresh lime juice for the fish sauce. Pressed and/or fried tofu are really delicious in this soup.
Notes: Clearly, this is a Thai-style soup, rather than Thai entirely. True Thai would involve cooking coconut cream to separate it, then frying the curry paste (which would be made specially for this dish) in the coconut fat. I'm trying to keep the flavors and lose the saturated fats. Let me know how you like it!