I first experienced Thai food in college, a hesitant, Midwestern girl whose diet consisted mainly of cheese, potatoes, and bread. As my friends and I looked over the menu, they convinced me that pad thai is the best introduction to Thai food. My stomach flipped as the waitress brought out this mass of noodles, egg, and chicken, topped with peanuts. This dish lacked all of my main food groups; how could it possibly taste good? (I was a very picky child, so don’t judge.)
I paused as I brought my fork up to my lips, still hoping for that green container of Parmesan cheese to appear on the table, then took the plunge. It was love at first bite.
Since then, I moved from pad thai to fried rice (of the pineapple variety), and finally to curry. Green curry, red curry, massaman curry, panang curry – I’ll eat it all. Curry embodies my ideal comfort food: fresh vegetables covered in flavorful sauce and served steaming hot.
I even traveled to Thailand just so I could learn to make homemade curry paste and “real” Thai food (thank you, Chef Leez!). Okay, that wasn’t the only reason I went there, but it was definitely high up my list.
To be honest, though, I could probably skip the vegetables altogether. They just get in the way of the sauce.
Do you know the sound of a spoon raking against an empty bowl? If you ever hear that in a Thai restaurant, it’s probably caused by me, sitting in the corner and scraping every last bit of curry out of the bowl. When that scraping sound subsides, you may want to avert your eyes – most likely I’ve decided to skip utensils altogether and just lick the bowl, manners be damned.
When I eat out at Thai restaurants, I’ll subtly suggest that whoever I’m with order a different curry from the one I’m ordering.
“Oh, no, you don’t want pad thai,” I’ll say, “It’s so overdone. Try a curry. No, not the same one as me. How about the panang curry?”
What I’m really after is the opportunity to try a different curry sauce. After my companion finishes eating all of the solid ingredients, I’ll ask for the bowl, so I can drizzle the remaining curry sauce over some rice. Or drink it straight out of the bowl, depending on how civilized I feel.
This soup is for curry sauce fiends.
Cauliflower and rice are simmered with green curry paste, coconut milk, and some vegetable broth, then blended until smooth. I added the cauliflower and rice to give it some heft (and so I could call this recipe “soup” and not “coconut green curry sauce to be eaten like soup”). For garnish, I chopped up some Thai basil and toasted some unsweetened coconut flakes, which add a nice crunch.
Basically, this soup tastes like green curry sauce, but it is filling enough to be a meal.
This cauliflower green curry soup is perfect for those of you who lick the bowl when you finish eating curry.
You’ll probably still enjoy it even if you only like curry a normal amount (and don’t decide to completely ignore societal norms just to get every last bit of curry sauce out of the bowl).